The sale of a controlling stake in Greece’s natural gas grid operator DESFA from Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR and the construction of TAP’s South Corridor (in which SOCAR has 20 pct stake) were discussed on Wednesday between Productive Reconstruction Minister Panos Skourletis and Anar Mammadov, CEO of SOCAR Energy Greece.
Skourletis, on his side, expressed the government’s support for the energy cooperation between the two countries.
The deal for the sale of DESFA is being considered by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition, a procedure expected to last until late 2015.
The European Commission wants SOCAR to accept a reduced 49 pct share of DESFA, rather than the 66 pct share originally planned, saying the remaining 17 pct should be passed on to a third group or groups. The EU is also requesting that because SOCAR is a gas producer, it must submit to the constraints of the EU’s third energy package, with regard to the independence of the gas grid operator (DESFA) from the parent company (SOCAR).