Former Bulgarian Minister of Energy Alexander Nikolov said that US company Chenier has come up with a binding offer for seven LNG cargoes for Bulgargaz.
In a binding offer, the payer and consignee have an option to receive the natural gas or not. The binding offer applies to all three tankers that can arrive until the end of this year, and a mechanism has been set for the other three, scheduled for 2023.
Nikolov said that the decision on the first cargo, which is due for delivery in October, has already been made, and this slot is secure. However, Bulgargaz has yet to finalize this decision. The second and third cargo have been left to the discretion of the caretaker Government because the previous Government did not want to commit their successors to costs and a specific solution because of the volatile market and steep spot prices.
He also said that, in case Greek LNG terminal at Revythoussa increases its capacity after August, Bulgaria will be able to receive all seven cargoes there.
Nikolov noted that, if gas interconnection between Greece and Bulgaria goes into operation after 1 October, natural gas prices in Bulgaria may plummet. Failing this, Bulgaria will find itself in a very bad situation. The other risk is that the alternative route, Kulata-Sidirokastro interconnection, will be unable to handle all cargoes contracted for Bulgaria because this pipeline is reserved for the Azeri gas. As a result, natural gas prices will skyrocket during the winter season.