By Leman Mammadova
The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) continues to strengthen its position in the Georgian market by increasing the sale of its high quality products.
In 2019, SOCAR plans to sell over 160 million liters of oil products at the company's gas stations in Georgia, Report informed citing SOCAR Energy Georgia.
“Currently, 113 gas stations operate under the SOCAR brand in Georgia. The company's share in the retail market is about 16 percent. In 2018, the company sold more than 147 million liters of products at gas stations,” said the company.
SOCAR was the first in Georgia to install stations for charging electric cars. Currently, such charging points are available in six regions of the country.
Presently, SOCAR is the major supplier of natural gas, oil and oil products to Georgia. SOCAR’s subsidiaries are engaged in expansion and modernization of the country’s gas distribution systems and development of filling stations under SOCAR’s brand. The company also owns an oil terminal in Georgia’s Kulevi Black Sea Port, which supplies Azerbaijani oil and oil products to the world markets.
SOCAR exports gas being extracted at Azerbaijani fields through its own funds to Georgia without participation of foreign companies. Moreover, Georgia receives Azerbaijani gas extracted at the Shah Deniz offshore field with participation of SOCAR and foreign companies.
In January-February this year, 493 million cubic meters of natural gas were exported via SOCAR Georgia Gas to Georgia.
Last year, SOCAR Energy Georgia provided high-quality services to more than 650,000 subscribers and tens of thousands of customers at gas stations.
SOCAR started its business activity in Georgia in 2006. In the same year, the company purchased the Kulevi oil terminal, which was put into operation in 2008, aimed at transportation of oil and oil products from Azerbaijan and Central Asia to western markets. Before the operation, the investment costs amounted to $233 million. Additional $96 million was invested in the terminal between 2008 and 2017.
The company is implementing its operations in Georgia through SOCAR Georgia Petroleum, SOCAR Gas Export-Import, SOCAR Georgia Gas, SOCAR Georgia Gas Distribution, Black Sea Terminal and other subsidiaries. At present, there are about 4,000 employees in the subordinated companies of SOCAR.
SOCAR Georgia Gas was established in 2007 to provide the import and sale of natural gas to the Georgian market, as well as to construct and rehabilitate gas pipelines. Currently, 19 functional services are active within SOCAR Georgia Gas. In addition, the company has founded 6 distribution enterprises in a number of regions of Georgia.
During the entire period of SOCAR Georgia Gas, total investments amounted to $77 million (construction of gas pipelines, rehabilitation and design works). Additionally, investments worth $30 million are envisaged within the 3-year program.
SOCAR Georgia Gas supplied 250,000 customers with gas and invested around $290 million in gas in 2008-2017. In addition, the company imported 1.4 billion cubic meters of natural gas to the Georgian market during this period.
Overall, SOCAR and its subsidiaries invested more than $1 billion in Georgia's economy, and paid $1.25 billion in tax to the Georgian state budget in 2007-2017.
Georgia imported more than 39,397 tons of oil and oil products worth $21.34 million from Azerbaijan in January-March 2019. As for gas supplies, Georgia imported 718,171 cubic meters of natural gas worth $123.4 million from Azerbaijan during the reporting period.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz