February 2020, Vol. 247, No. 2

Global News

Bulgaria Starts Receiving Gas from TurkStream, Bypassing Ukraine

Bulgaria started receiving natural gas from Russia’s Gazprom via Turkey on January 1 and will no longer use the route through Ukraine and Romania, Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova said.

Petkova said the new route via the TurkStream pipeline is more economically viable and could result in around a 5% decrease in natural gas prices on an annual basis.

“Financial analyses have shown that Bulgarian customers will save more than 70 million leva ($40 million approx.) annually from the transit taxes of the trans-Balkan route,” Petkova said Monday. “This means it will lead to a decrease of the price of Russian natural gas for Bulgaria.”

The Balkan country meets almost all of its gas needs, about 106 Bcf (3 billion cubic meters) of gas per year, with Gazprom supplies.

Russia is building TurkStream in two pipelines, each with 556 Bcf (15.75 billion cubic meters) annual capacity, to bypass Ukraine to the south. The first pipeline is aimed at supplying Turkey and the second would run further from Bulgaria to Serbia and Hungary.

Russia and Ukraine recently announced a new gas transit deal, under which Moscow will supply Europe for at least another five years via its former Soviet neighbor and pay a $2.9 billion settlement to Kiev to end a legal dispute.

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