Bulgaria Eyes Azerbaijani Natural Gas Supply

Bulgaria Eyes Azerbaijani Natural Gas Supply

Bulgaria, Georgia, and Azerbaijan will sign by September 24 an agreement for a preliminary research of possibilities for gas supply to Bulgaria.

The information was reported by the Bulgarian newspaper Klasa, citing the CEO of Bulgartransgaz, a subsidiary of the Bulgarian state-owned gas company Bulgargaz, Ivan Drenchovski.

Drenchovski says experts will meet either in Azerbaijan - in the capital Baku, or in the Georgian capital Tbilisi to discuss transporting gas from Azerbaijan through Georgia by a pipeline and then on tankers for compressed gas through the Black Sea to Bulgaria. Up to 2 B cubic meters of natural gas can be delivered to Bulgaria. (Last year the total use of gas in the country was 2.6 B cubic meters.)

The tankers will travel to Bulgaria's Varna where the gas will be sent on the national pipeline network or stored in the future storage facility near "Galata." The project would not require a huge investment for a special terminal at the Varna port, but additional infrastructure would still be needed.

As early as March, Bulgaria's Energy and Economy Minister, Traicho Traikov, haled talks with his Georgian counterpart regarding the possibility for delivery of compressed gas.

Bulgaria is to seek EU or US funding for the project.

It was announced last Friday the presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Romania are going to meet in Baku in September as part of the three countries' joint natural gas supply project AGRI, which affects Bulgaria.

Also on Friday, Drenchovski said the Bulgarian government is working on the development of two transit routes of natural gas from Azerbaijan to Bulgaria - one via pipelines going through Turkey, and another one through compressed gas terminals and shipments through the Black Sea.

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