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Bulgargaz to hold three auctions for natgas, LNG supplies

Bulgargaz to hold three auctions for natgas, LNG supplies Gas pipelines

SOFIA (Bulgaria), August 11 (SeeNews) - Public supplier Bulgargaz said it will hold three auctions for deliveries of natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) so as to ensure availability of the fuel for both next month and the upcoming final quarter of 2022.

The first auction, to be held on August 12 on the Balkan Gas Hub, is meant to secure additional quantities of natural gas for September, Bulgargaz said in a statement on Wednesday.

Bids will be accepted until midday on Friday.

On August 16, the state-owned company will launch auctions for the supply of both natural gas and LNG for the months of October through December, it said in separate statements. Participants will be able to bid until midday on August 16 in both of those auctions.

In the auction for natural gas deliveries in the final quarter of the year, Bulgargaz is calling for up to 42,000 MWh per day for October, up to 61,000 MWh per day for November and up to 72,000 MWh per day for December, to be supplied to the Bulgarian virtual trading point (VTP) with quantities varying up to 20% more or less on a daily basis.

Bulgargaz is also seeking to purchase LNG, to be delivered at the Revithoussa terminal in Greece. The auction is for 1.5 million MWh for October and 2 million MWh for each of November and December.

The current caretaker government is looking to plug a gap in the country's gas supply left after Russia's Gazprom cut off deliveries to Bulgaria in late April over the previous government's refusal to accept Moscow's demand to pay in rubles in a breach of a valid long-term supply contract expiring in December 2022.

Azerbaijan’s state-owned oil and gas company Socar has already agreed to supply Bulgaria with 1 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year, or a third of the country's energy needs, via a gas link between Bulgaria and Greece. Last month, outgoing prime minister Kiril Petkov said that Azerbaijan is ready to supply to Bulgaria with a a further 0.5 - 1 billion bcm per year, but the infrastructure to carry the gas remains an issue.

The caretaker government has said it will prioritise the commissioning of the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector.

Earlier this week, caretaker energy minister Rossen Hristov told local media that Bulgaria has requested a two-week delay to signing a deal based on the binding offer from US Cheniere Energy to supply seven LNG tankers, of which three by the end of 2022. The postponement is necessary so that Bulgaria can negotiate slots for offloading LNG tankers at the Revithoussa terminal, Hristov said in an interview with private broadcaster bTV.

At the start of August, Bulgargaz requested a 60% hike in the wholesale natural gas price applicable for August, to 297.89 levs ($157.25/152.30 euro) per MWh. Bulgaria's Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) is set to rule on Friday on the proposed change in the price at which Bulgargaz sells natural gas to end-suppliers and customers directly connected to its transmission network.

(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)