YEREVAN (Combined Sources)–The deliveries of Russian natural gas to Armenia, halted on Friday because of reported pipeline damage in Georgia, are due to resume by the end of Monday, officials in Tbilisi and Yerevan said.
Georgia suspended the transit of Russian gas through its territory, citing emergency repairs on a section of a pipeline leading to Armenia. Georgian officials said it was seriously damaged by increased gas pressure resulting from a seasonal rise in Armenian gas imports.
"Repair works on the gas pipeline are nearing completion and the transit will apparently be resumed tonight," Georgian Energy Minister Alexandre Khetaguri told journalists on Monday, according to the Caucasus Press news agency.
Armenia’s national gas distribution company, ArmRosGazprom (ARG), confirmed the information. “According to our information, the repairs are nearly complete, and the supply to the republic will likely resume this evening and be restored in full tomorrow,” Shushan Sardarian, a spokesperson for ARG, told RFE/RL.
ARG dispatched a team of technicians to the site of the pipeline accident in the southern Gardabani district on Friday. According to Sardarian, they remained there as of Monday afternoon.
The emergency has had no impact on gas distribution within Armenia, with ARG tapping its gas reserves kept in an underground storage facility north of Yerevan to maintain supplies to individual and industrial consumers.
Armenia currently consumes 8.5 million-9 million cubic meters of gas daily, Sardarian said. ArmRosgazprom, an Armenian-Russian joint gas venture, has a monopoly on Russian gas supplies and distribution in Armenia. Russia’s energy giant, Gazprom controls 75.55% in that joint venture, while the Armenian government holds a 20% stake and Russia’s Itera company another 4.44%.