Bulgaria's energy regulator said that it approved a decrease of the wholesale price of natural gas to 26.93 levs ($16.89/13.77 euro) per MWh in January from the 27.70 levs per MWh price valid in December.
In its decision, the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) took into account the information about the market indices of the European gas hubs and the average euro/dollar exchange rate of the European Central Bank for the month of December, the regulatory body said in a statement on January 1.
The regulator also took into consideration the new volume of natural gas which Bulgaria started receiving from the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) as of January 1. The TAP pipeline carries natural gas from Azerbaijan.
Under changes to Bulgarian energy regulations introduced last year, public gas supplier Bulgargaz is required to set the wholesale gas price monthly instead of quarterly.
Bulgaria currently imports almost all of the natural gas it needs from Russia.
In March, Bulgargaz negotiated a 40.3% cut in the price of Russian natural gas imports based on an agreement between the European Commission and Russia's Gazprom. Bulgargaz and Gazprom changed the pricing formula for Russian gas imports, setting as its main component the price on the regional markets instead of the price of petroleum derivatives.