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HomeLNGBulgaria signs long-term gas agreement with Turkey

Bulgaria signs long-term gas agreement with Turkey

Turkey’s state-owned gas firm, Botas signed a long-term deal with Bulgaria’s state gas company Bulgargaz, giving it access to its gas network and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals to help bring in supplies. After the closure of the Russian gas tap, Sofia is forced to look for new sources to ensure supply security.

Under the 13-years agreement, Bulgargaz will have long-term access to five liquefied natural gas terminals of Botas, and the Turkish company will also provide transit through its network to Bulgaria.

Fatih Dönmez, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Turkey said that the agreement will allow Bulgaria to transport about 1.5 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year until 2036. He wished that 2023 would be a year which sterengthens the cooperation between the two countries, especially in the field energy.

“This agreement will be an important step in increasing the natural gas security of the Balkan region,” he added underlining that the current deal with Bulgaria serves also as a crucial steppingstone for Turkey to become a gas hub. “There is an opportunity to increase this capacity in a very short time with the investments to be made by both supplier countries and European countries,” he noted.

Bulgarian Energy Minister Rossen Hristov also described the long-term gas supply deal as a “historical document”.”With this agreement we are securing the opportunity to buy gas from all global producers and offload it in Turkey, which best suits Bulgaria logistically,” he underlined.

“Over the past year, we had serious problems with LNG supplies precisely because of the lack of infrastructure. Now, together with our colleagues from Turkey, we are solving this problem,” highlighted the Bulgarian minister.

Sofia is forced to look for new sources as Russia, which previously provided more than 95 per cent of its gas, halted supplies in 2022 April because Bulgaria refused to pay for gas in rubles.

Bulgaria currently covers about a third of its annual gas needs by importing 1 bcm of Azeri gas, and contracts traders to supply it with the rest through Greece. According to the plans, Sofia will import one-third of its gas neds through Turkey, one-third through the LNG terminal to be opened in 2024 near Alexandroupolis, Greece, and the remaining one-third from Azeri suppliers.

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