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Vol. 5 nr. 12 | 2012 – Georgia, piece of the puzzle or weak link of the Southern Corridor?

Vol. 5 nr. 12 | 2012 – Georgia, piece of the puzzle or weak link of the Southern Corridor?
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Bogdan Nedea

Georgia’s importance as a transit country and as a reliable ally for the West was undeniably proven once it became an important piece of Europe’s energy security as a transit country in two major pipelines: Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum(BTE). BTC affords western access to Caspian Sea and Central Asian energy, offering a choice of customers to the landlocked producing states.  Parallel to BTC, natural gas flows from the Caspian Sea’s Shah Deniz field through the South Caucasus Pipeline to the Turkish city of Erzurum, bound for consumers throughout Europe. Moreover, the Baku-Supsa Pipeline and the Baku-Batumi railroad carry oil to tankers at Georgia’s Black Sea ports. Together, these energy conduits form the critical mass required to promote and sustain a broad East-West commercial corridor. Individual pipeline projects of the Southern Gas Corridor were already developed by the respective companies at the beginning of the 2000s, the Southern Gas Corridor, as an overarching concept, only emerged later. It was first described as a “project of European interest”, connecting the countries of the Caspian Sea and the Middle East by long-distant natural gas pipelines with the European Union, in a decision of the European Parliament and the Council of September 2006, coded as “NG3”. ..

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