26 Jan 2011 11:13

Gazprom, Bulgargaz discuss move to direct gas contracts

MOSCOW. Jan 26 (Interfax) - The chief of Russian gas giant OJSC Gazprom , Alexei Miller, and Executive Director at Bulgargaz EAD Dimitar Gogov have examined the current state and prospects for developing gas cooperation, including a switch to a direct-contract system, Gazprom said in a statement.

They "also directed their attention to issues involved in Gazprom and Bulgargaz changing over to mutual direct contracts for Russian natural gas shipments to Bulgaria," the statement says.

LLC Gazprom Export delivered roughly 2.6 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas to Bulgaria last year, according to initial figures.

Miller and Gogov also discussed work on the South Stream gas pipeline project, sharing the view that, considering Europe's increasing demand for natural gas, "the timely completion and commissioning of South Stream will serve the interests of millions of European customers," Gazprom said.

Following lengthy negotiations between Russia and Bulgaria, a 'roadmap' was inked for a feasibility study for the Bulgarian section of South Stream last summer, along with a protocol dealing with Russian gas deliveries to Bulgaria. Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said agreement had been reached on preferential gas prices for Bulgaria, which would mean lower prices for the end consumer.