26 Sep 2017 16:54

Bulgaria discussing gas transit in context of TurkStream construction with Gazprom

MOSCOW. Sept 26 (Interfax) - Gazprom chief Alexei Miller and Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova have discussed current and future issues of bilateral cooperation, the company said.

"Focus was given to the supply of Russian gas to Bulgaria and its transit via the country within the context of the implementation of the TurkStream project," a statement said.

Bulgaria has not been able to become a transit country for Russian gas to Europe due to the failure of the project to build South Stream along the bottom of the Black Sea and which then became TurkStream.

Gazprom currently supplies gas to Turkey via Ukraine and Bulgaria through the Trans-Balkan Pipeline. It is envisaged that with the construction of TurkStream, the majority of Ukrainian transit gas will be redirected to the new pipeline.

Gazprom Deputy Chairman Alexander Medvedev had earlier said that the Bulgarian section of the Trans-Balkan Pipeline could be converted into reverse flow following the launch of TurkStream. "Bulgaria [Bulgarian section of the Trans-Balkan Pipeline] will be used, just in the other direction," he said.

Gazprom has already started construction of the TurkStream gas pipeline which also runs through the Black Sea, the goal of which is to avoid transit gas via Ukraine. One line of TurkStream, intended for the Turkish market, has a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year. The second, with the same capacity, is for the European Market. The gas pipelines for Europe, which will carry Russian gas to Europe have not yet been determined and this will depend on the outcome of Gazprom's talks with its consumers.

In 2016 Gazprom supplied 3.18 bcm of gas to Bulgaria, up 2.1% on 2015.