MOSCOW, June 22 (UPI) -- Russian gas company Gazprom said it hosted in Moscow officials from Azerbaijan, which was lauded for keeping natural gas supplies flowing to Russia.
"The meeting participants noted that the partnership deepening between the companies was a strategic field of long-term interaction between the two countries," the Russian company said in a statement.
SOCAR last year announced the reconstruction of two pipelines would give Azerbaijan the capacity needed to increase gas exports. This would allow the company to execute a contract with Gazprom that calls for up to 70 billion cubic feet per year.
Azerbaijan holds more than 50 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in its Shah Deniz gas field in the Caspian Sea. Azeri gas is viewed by Europe as a supply source for its lauded Nabucco natural gas pipeline, a project included in a package meant to break the Russian grip on the European energy sector.
BP operators in Azerbaijan, meanwhile, said production volumes were down in the Shah Deniz field because of power supply problems, the regional Trend news agency reports.
Supplier timelines prompted Nabucco to push back some of its projections for the start of the project.