You have 3 free articles left this month. Get your free Basic subscription now and gain instant access to more.

Azerbaijan ready to double gas supplies to Bulgaria - outgoing PM Petkov

Azerbaijan ready to double gas supplies to Bulgaria - outgoing PM Petkov Gas interconnector Greece-Bulgaria. Source: ICGB.

SOFIA (Bulgaria), July 25 (SeeNews) - Azerbaijan is ready to supply to Bulgaria 0.5 - 1 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas per year in addition to the amount of 1 bcm it has already agreed to deliver, outgoing Bulgarian prime minister Kiril Petkov said.

"However, we still need to find a way to bring this gas to Bulgaria [...] We are working on this. The good thing in this case is that we have the gas, we have to find a solution to the infrastructure [issue]," Petkov told private Bulgarian broadcaster Nova TV on Sunday after meeting with Azeri president Ilham Aliyev.

He did not comment further.

Azerbaijan’s state-owned oil and gas company Socar has already agreed to supply Bulgaria with 1 bcm per year via a gas link between Bulgaria and Greece.

Earlier this month, Bulgaria and Greece completed the construction of the 220 million euro ($223.1 million) gas interconnector with an annual capacity of 3 bcm. The link is connected to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), allowing for additional quantities of gas from Azerbaijan that arrive in Greek ports to flow to Italy and the wider Southeast Europe (SEE) region.

It will also enable the flow of liquefied natural gas to Bulgaria and SEE from Greece's Alexandroupolis LNG terminal, paving the way for potential future LNG imports from the US, Algeria, Qatar, Egypt and other suppliers.

The pipeline is seen as a crucial element of the European Union's plans to give up Russian gas supplies entirely by 2030 and beyond.

As much as 1.57 bcm of capacity on IGB have already been secured on long-term contracts of up to 25 years. Apart from public supplier Bulgargaz, its Greek counterpart DEPA and Italian energy company Edison have reserved long-term capacity, in addition to Socar. US Linden Energy, which is awaiting regulatory approval to buy 50% of Bulgarian gas supplier Overgas, must also reaffirm its commitment to take 10% of IGB’s volume.

($=0.9802 euro)