Greece offering SOCAR new terms on DESFA deal

Greece’s government is considering the sale of 49 percent share in the Greek gas operator DESFA to Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR, Bloomberg said on May 1.

SOCAR won a tender in December 2013 on the sale of the 66-percent stake in DESFA for 400 million euros.

Currently, the deal is being considered by European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition, and the procedure will last until late 2015.

In November 2014, the European Commission started an investigation into the compliance of the deal on acquisition of a stake in DESFA with the EU’s regulations.

Under the current terms, the remainder of the shares (34 percent) will belong to Greece.

Greece’s productive reconstruction, environment and energy ministry, and DESFA are currently unavailable for comment on the matter.

It should be noted that in January 2015, a new government came to power in Greece.

Greece’s minister of productive reconstruction, environment and energy, Panagiotis Lafazanis said the Greek side would define the next steps regarding this deal after a decision from the European Commission.

SOCAR includes production associations Azneft (the enterprises producing oil and gas onshore and offshore), Azerkimya (the chemical industry enterprises) and Azerigaz.

The company also has a number of processing enterprises, service enterprises, institutions involved in geophysical and drilling operations.

SOCAR is the sole producer of oil products in Azerbaijan. It has two oil refineries on its balance sheet, and also owns filling stations in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Romania and Switzerland.

SOCAR is also the co-owner of Turkey’s largest petrochemical complex Petkim and other assets in Turkey.

The company is currently carrying out work as part of ensuring the Azerbaijani gas supplies to Europe.

The work is underway in this regard as part of the Stage 2 of development of the Shah Deniz offshore gas and condensate field, and for expansion of the South Caucasus Pipeline.

Aside from that projects are being developed for construction of the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) and the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).

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