Bulgaria’s transit pipelines taken over by Russian Gazprom

, SEE Energy News

A review of the long-term reserved capacities shows that Gazprom has all of the country’s key exits in the strategic southern direction to Turkey, Greece and North Macedonia, as well as to Serbia in the west.

According to a report by Euractiv, Russian gas company Gazprom has taken over the most important border points of Bulgarian transit pipelines, without having to pay billions of euros for their construction and without owning the pipes, thus circumventing EU rules under the Third Energy Package.

The financing for the construction of Balkan Stream gas pipeline (the extension of TurkStream pipeline through Bulgarian territory) is provided by the Bulgarian state, and the takeover took place through long-term contracts between Gazprom and the Bulgarian state-owned natural gas transmission system operator Bulgartransgaz, covering the reservation of almost all border capacities.

Almost 100 % Bulgaria’s gas is imported. Imports and exports of natural gas depend on the capacity of seven entry and exit points on cross-border gas pipelines in Bulgaria.