Bulgaria: On 1 January 2021 deliveries of Azeri natural gas

, SEE Energy News

According to the signed contract between state-owned gas supplier Bulgargaz and the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), 1 billion cubic meters of gas per year will be delivered to Bulgaria from the Shah Deniz 2 gas field for a period of 25 years, as of 31 December.

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said that on 1 January 2021, Bulgaria will have not only achieve energy diversification, but will also have supplies of natural gas from Azerbaijan, which will enter the territory of Bulgaria via Greece.

Minister of Energy Temenuzhka Petkova highlighted the importance of the agreement with Azerbaijan, noting that this is an extremely important contract related to the implementation of Bulgaria’s priorities – the diversification of natural gas supplies.

By early October next year, natural gas will flow to Bulgaria through a temporary delivery point at Kulata, which connects the Trans-Adriatic (TAP) pipeline with the Greek gas transmission system. In the meantime, Bulgaria continues to build the Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnection (IGB pipeline). It is the connection point between TAP and IGB pipelines at Komotini, that will be the point of supply of Azerbaijani gas after this transition period of several months. The Government said that the delay in building the interconnection is due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In September 2016, Bulgaria and Azerbaijan agreed on Azeri gas deliveries for Balkan gas hub that will start from 2020. In 2017, Minister of Energy of Azerbaijan Natig Aliyev confirmed that his country is committed to deliver one billion cubic meters of natural gas per year to Bulgaria, but added that the construction of IGB pipeline is a prerequisite for these deliveries. Soon after, Bulgaria announced that it will start the construction of the interconnector in 2018 with the aim to complete the project in 2020.