Why did Malta choose SOCAR as its partner?

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Three questions have been raised regarding the energy deal between Azerbaijan and Malta, and Malta’s choice of SOCAR – the state oil company of Azerbaijan in a report by a Berlin-based Azerbaijani non-profit media organisation Meydan.tv.

An article titled Azerbaijan’s SOCAR, billion dollar deal with Maltese gov’t at centre of investigation into Maltese journalist’s murder which was published on Meydan.tv raised questions about the deal.

Three questions are raised in connection to the energy deal, of which why did Malta choose SOCAR as its partner when the latter has no experience in manufacturing or trading liquefied gas. Gas is transported in a liquefied form however, despite the huge oil and gas reserves, this is not produced in Azerbaijan.

Both Greece and Turkey have entered into gas agreements with other suppliers and have already achieved a revision of terms, Malta has not raised such an issue.

Slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia was looking into money laundering schemes – such “dirty money” originated from Azerbaijan, Moldova and Russia. Family of the slain journalist has requested Europol to provide necessary support to the investigation, which is trying to trace the money path between Malta, Azerbaijan and the United Arab Emirates.

A new power station accompanied by lower utility bills was one of the major Partit Laburista promises before the 2013 election. Electrogas of which a third is owned by the Azerbaijani state-owned SOCAR won the tender. Electrogas signed a contract with the Azeri state oil company for the provision of liquefied natural gas.

From investigations it showed that Malta was paying a much higher price than other countries such as Greece, Italy and Turkey.

The Azerbaijan state company bought $113 million worth of liquefied gas from Shell which it sold to Electrogas Malta for $153 million. This is then sold to Enemalta for the same price.