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Gazprom To Double Azerbaijan Gas Purchases

Russian state-controlled gas company Gazprom says it has signed a deal to double its gas imports from Azerbaijan.

The agreement was signed in the Russian ski resort of Krasnaya Polyana by Gazprom chief executive Aleksei Miller and the head of Azerbaijan's state-owned energy company SOCAR, Rovnag Abdullayev.

Gazprom said the volume of gas purchases from Azerbaijan will grow from 1.5 billion to 3 billion cubic meters this year, and will rise further in 2013.

The Russian firm announced last week it would start construction of the South Stream natural-gas pipeline in December 2012, instead of 2013, to eventually provide up to 63 billion cubic meters of gas annually to southeastern Europe.

compiled from agency reports