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Azerbaijani natural gas starts flowing into Georgia

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Azerbaijan's natural gas has started flowing into neighboring Georgia, Novosti-Georgia news agency said Wednesday.
TBILISI, January 10 (RIA Novosti) - Azerbaijan's natural gas has started flowing into neighboring Georgia, Novosti-Georgia news agency said Wednesday.

An agreement on the export of Azerbaijan's natural gas to Georgia was signed in late December. Under the deal, energy-rich Azerbaijan will sell gas at $120 per 1,000 cubic meters. The gas will be pumped via the Gadzhigabul-Gazakh pipeline.

"Currently, three million cubic meters of natural gas are being pumped into Georgia each day," Georgian Economic Development Minister Giorgi Arveladze was quoted by the agency as saying.

According to the schedule agreed between the former Soviet republics, Georgia will receive 31 million cubic meters of gas between January 10 and 20, or 3 million cubic meters a day.

Until this year Georgia received most of its natural gas from Russia, paying $110 per 1,000 cubic meters in 2006, but energy giant Gazprom more than doubled the price as of 2007, forcing Russia's southern neighbor to look for alternative gas sources.

Georgia has now agreed to pay $235 per 1,000 cubic meters. Gazprom signed three contracts on December 22 for the supply of 1.1 billion cubic meters of gas to Georgia in 2007.

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