Socar (the state oil company of Azerbaijan) has acquired a 66% share in the Greek natural gas transmission network operator (DESFA). This agreement is significant in terms of gas supplies to Europe from Azerbaijan.
The President of Socar, Rovnag Abdullayev will arrive in Athens on December 21, to conclude and sign the agreement.
However, market analysts suggest that Socar is unlikely to begin management of the transmission of gas in Greece before the end of 2014. Despite the agreement, there are still a number of legal arrangements to be completed, along with two main obstacles. First of all, the EU Energy Commission may consider that this deal breaks European Union Competition Law, and secondly there is the complicated issue of restructuring of DESFA shares.
Despite this, the Greek government is confident that the deal will be completed without major problems by the first quarter of 2014.