Bulgarian Energy Holding CEO Praises State for Averting 'Gas Crisis'Energy | January 4, 2016, Monday // 09:34| views
Bulgarian Energy Holding CEO Jacklen Cohen. Photo by BGNES
The head of the state-owned Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) has praised officials for helping avert a crisis in gas supplies that could have followed a halt in deliveries from Gazprom Export to Bulgaria's biggest private gas supplier.
Bulgaria's state-owned supplier Bulgargaz does not have any obligations to Overgas, which has its own license to deliver gas to customers, Jacklen Cohen said in an interview with the Bulgarian National Radio on Sunday.
He fended off claims that actions to deliver crisis supplies to Overgas (triggered by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov) were an act of "blackmailing" as the private company itself suggested.
Overgas is a joint-stock company where Bulgaria-based Overgas Holding AD (50%), Gazprom (0.49%) and Gazprom Export (49.51%).
BEH is a holding company bringing together most of Bulgaria's state-owned energy companies including the National Electricity Company (NEK), Bulgargaz, and network operator Bulgartransgaz.
On Wednesday, December 30, Bulgarian authorities announced they had received a copy of a letter from Gazprom Export to Overgas in which the latter was being informed to prepare for a halt in supplies as of January 01.
The Russian Foreign Ministry later confirmed "commercial issues" were being settled between the two companies. Overgas insists it has not overdue debts to any company.
But just a day after reports had emerged, Cohen announced an agreement had been signed between Bulgargaz and Overgas, hours before the New Year, under which deliveries will be made from the state-owned supplier to the private joint-stock.
Both Bulgargaz and Overgas count on Russian gas supplies.