Iran's Georgian Plans Need Pipelines
The managing director of the National Iranian Gas Company has announced readiness to export 200mn m³ of gas over the course of 7 months – or about 1mn m³/d – to Georgia. However, the two sides have not yet commented on the transit route and the easiest option would be using Russia's grid.
The NIGC head, Alireza Kameli, said February 16 that exports to Georgia could start in late March, adding that “Georgia needs the necessary permission from Armenia for the transit of gas."
Iran swaps some 1mn m³/d of gas in exchange for Armenian electricity. Armenia received some 1.92bn m³ of Russian gas via Georgia last year. But, there is no pipeline to transfer gas from Armenia to Georgia.
Shana news agency quoted Georgia’s energy minister Kakha Kaladze in Tehran on February 17 saying that negotiations regarding volume and price will continue. "Meanwhile, bartering Iranian gas for Georgian electricity is possible." The Georgian official said his country is ready to import electricity from Iran in cold seasons and export electricity to Iran in warm seasons.
There are two routes to export Iranian gas to Georgia: either through Azerbaijan or through Armenia, he said. But an official at Azeri state oil company Socar told NGE that exporting Iranian gas to Armenia is not possible technically and without Russian Gazprom, exporting Iranian gas to Georgia is not possible except by a swap. Russia can supply a portion of gas, which is exported to Armenia, to Georgia and Iran can increase export of gas to Armenia by the same amount."
He also said that Georgia could export electricity to Iran via Armenia in exchange for swapping Russian and Iranian gas.
Russia-Georgian relations have been poor since the two countries went to war in 2008, which ended with Georgia losing territory.