Bulgaria buys first US gas as it breaks away from dependence on Russia

Bulgaria buys first US gas as it breaks away from dependence on Russia
By bne IntelliNews June 2, 2019

Bulgaria has agreed to buy natural gas from the US for the first time, and signed a deal for deliveries of 140mn cubic metres of liquified natural gas (LNG) in the second and third quarters of 2019, the energy minister said on May 31.

Although the amount is not too big, the deal is significant as traditionally Bulgaria completely depends on deliveries from Russia.

The gas will be delivered by Dutch-registered company Kolmar NL. In the second quarter of the year the company should deliver 90mn cubic metres of LNG, and in the third quarter another 50mn cubic metres.

"This is yet another step towards liberalisation of the gas market and a clear sign of diversification," Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova said in the statement.

The deliveries from the US cover around 10% of Bulgaria’s gas consumption.

Bulgaria is trying to diversify its gas deliveris and earlier in May it started the construction of the €220mn Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (ICGB). Via the interconnector, Bulgaria plans to receive mainly gas from Azerbaijan.

The interconnector will have a length of 182 km, of which 151 km will be on Bulgarian territory. Its capacity is planned to be 3bn cubic metres. Bulgaria and Greece signed a delayed final investment decision on building the interconnector in December 2015.