Historic gas agreement between Bulgaria and Turkey, SEE Energy News
The agreement will be valid until 2035 and will enable the import of up to 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year
Bulgaria will be able to negotiate gas directly from Turkish terminals
Turkey is increasing its energy influence in the Balkans
On January 3, 2023, Bulgarian gas supplier Bulgargaz and Turkish energy company Botas signed an agreement on access to Turkish gas transmission infrastructure until 2035. This represents a serious diplomatic and energy success, because until now Bulgaria’s southern border was literally closed to commercial transactions in the natural gas sector, not only for Bulgaria, but also for the entire European Union.
In recent years, similar agreements were tried to be made by the previous governments of GERB and Kirill Petkov. Only now, however, is the desired result.
The agreement has two main goals: to enable the Bulgarian supplier to use the Turkish gas infrastructure, as well as the possibility of transferring up to 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year. It is likely that these quantities will be liquefied natural gas (LNG), provided through available Turkish terminals. However, there is no real interconnection, which means that other gas traders, apart from the state-owned Bulgargaz, will not be able to use the Turkish infrastructure.
The contract does not fix specific quantities for import into Bulgaria, but gives the possibility of using the gas pipeline network. This means that Bulgaria could import 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year through Turkey, but first it will have to secure the corresponding quantities of LNG from traders.
From Turkey’s point of view, this agreement opens the possibility for the country to become an important gas distribution hub for the entire Balkan Peninsula and even Ukraine. Azerbaijani gas now passes through Turkey, but its distribution to the EU takes place in Greece. As for the Russian Turkish Stream, the country currently does not have the ability to trade the gas transported through this pipeline.
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