History of the Industry

The development of Georgian oil and gas industry starts in the twenties of the last century, when a specialized enterprise “Saknavtobi” was established. It studied natural resources of Georgia and conducted drilling operations to reveal prospective oil and gas fields.

From the thirties to the sixties of the last century, extraction works were carried out at the number of fields. Annual oil production made up from 20 to 55 thousand tons. Oil production reached its peak in 1980-83, when output totaled 3.2-3.3 mln tons.

The construction of trunk pipelines in Georgia started in the early 19th century. The company set up by Nobel brothers built and put into operation 8-inch (203 mm) diameter, 883 km long Baku-Batumi pipeline to transport oil to the Batumi sea port. At that time it was one of the longest pipelines in the world. Trunk pipeline with a total length of 1,357 km had already been operational before World War I.

Construction of large diameter pipelines enhanced the development of oil and gas industry. In the late fifties of the 20th century approx. 4,500 km’s of main pipelines with a diameters varying from 325 to 1,420 mm were constructed on the territory of the former USSR every year.

Karadagi-Tbilisi main pipeline was also constructed then and was put into operation in 1959. Initially 500 mm diameter 50 km long gas pipeline from Tsiteli Khidi to Tbilisi was launched. In 1963 Orjonikidze-Tbilisi 700 mm pipeline was commissioned. It supplied not only Tbilisi, but also the entire country with natural gas received from Azerbaijan and Russia. From 1967-68 the Karadagi-Tbilisi and Orjonikidze-Tbilisi 700-800 mm pipelines functioned in parallel as a system. The Kazakh-Saguramo 89 km and 1,000 mm gas pipeline has been functioning since 1979-80. In 1988 a new 1,200 mm gas pipeline was constructed and became operational.

By 2011 trunk pipeline system in Georgia consisted of 9 gas pipelines: North Caucasus-Trans Caucasus, Kazakh-Saguramo, Karadagi-Tbilisi, Vladikavkaz-Tbilisi, Saguramo-Kutaisi, Kutaisi-Sukhumi, Rustavi-Telavi-Zhinvali, Tsiteli Khidi-Tsalka-Alastani and Gomi-Khashuri-Bakuriani.

In 2009, a gas pipeline dispatch desk was created in Georgian Gas Transportation Company to monitor trunk pipelines. This desk is the first modern computer system in the region to operate and monitor trunk pipelines.