Jun 26, 2008

Abkhazia: Russia Investigating Gas Pipeline

Sample ImageRussian company Gazprom is considering the feasibility of building a gas pipeline from Russia to Abkhazia.

Below is an extract of an article published by Reuters:


Russia is looking into building a gas pipeline to […] Abkhazia.


"There is an idea of building a gas pipeline to Abkhazia directly from Russia but no decision has been taken so far. It is just being studied," an official with Russia's state-controlled gas firm Gazprom (GAZP.MM: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) told Reuters.

Abkhazia, a territory on the Black Sea coast, threw off Tbilisi's control […] in the early 1990s. It runs its own affairs, with support from Moscow, but no state has recognized its independence from Georgia.

A spokesman for Abkhazia […] confirmed that discussions were underway. "So far this is just a draft plan," he said.

Speaking on a visit to Berlin on Wednesday, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said Gazprom intended to explore for oil in Abkhazia. He described that as "an absolutely outrageous violation of any international commercial law".

But the Gazprom official said: "As far as oil is concerned, we know nothing about it."

A spokeswoman for Gazprom's oil arm, Gazprom Neft (SIBN.MM: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), said Saakashvili must be mistaken. "We are not working or exploring in Abkhazia for oil and there are absolutely no plans to do that in the foreseeable future," the spokeswoman said.

Abkhazia is a constant source of friction between Georgia and Russia in a volatile belt of land between the Caspian Sea and Black Sea which is emerging as a vital corridor for pumping oil and gas en route to world markets.

This year, Russia established semi-official ties with [Abkhazia] and sent extra troops to Abkhazia to beef up a peacekeeping contingent there.