Russian gas behemoth Gazprom has doubled its gas imports from Azerbaijan to 3 million cubic meters a day as of March 5, the company said Tuesday. Earlier this year, Gazprom agreed to buy 1 billion cubic meters from Azerbaijan in 2010 -- double the planned volume. The company has said it will import 2 billion cubic meters from the South Caucasus republic in 2011. “Gazprom is ready to further receive all the gas Azerbaijan will supply. This is fully in line with the standing contract,” the company’s Chief Executive Alexei Miller told journalists.
President Ilham Aliyev said earlier that Azerbaijan will sell more gas to the Russian gas monopoly if the implementation of the Western-backed Nabucco pipeline project stalls. The European Union is also trying to secure gas supplies from Azerbaijan for the Nabucco project, which will carry Caspian and Central Asian gas to Europe bypassing Russia. Azerbaijan produced 23.6 billion cubic meters of gas in 2009, or 0.8% over the 2008 figure. Azerbaijan produces most of its gas from the giant Shahdaniz field in the Caspian Sea, which holds estimated reserves of 2 trillion cubic meters. During Phase 2 of Shahdaniz development, scheduled to begin in 2012-2013, gas exports are planned to a number of countries, including European markets.