Bulgaria Negotiates Transit of Azerbaijan Gas with Georgia

Energy | October 4, 2010, Monday // 19:51|  views

Bulgarian Economy Minister Traikov said Bulgargaz and Socar are very close to a deal for 2 billion cubic meters of natural gas. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria is in negotiations with Georgia for the transit of 2 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Azerbaijan.

This was confirmed Monday in Sofia after a meeting of the Prime Ministers of Bulgaria and Georgia, Boyko Borisov and Nikoloz Gilauri.

"Bulgaria wants to buy the compressed liquefied natural gas from Azerbaijan through Georgia and the Black Sea," PM Borisov said.

Bulgaria's Minister of Economy, Energy, and Transport Traicho Traikov explained that there are ongoing talks with Georgi to secure the transit of the 2 billion cubic meters of natural gas that the Bulgarian state gas company Bulgargaz (via its subsidiary Bulgartransgaz) is hoping to be buying each year from its Azerbaijan counterpart SOCAR.

"Bulgartransgaz is very close to reaching a deal with SOCAR. Once this happens, the next step will be striking a contract for a transit solution," Traikov explained.

He said that during his visit to the USA in September he met with the representatives of a US company providing transport of liquefied natural gas with ships. Traikov pointed out that the infrastructure for compressing natural gas costs 10 times less than the pipelines but that the ships themselves are expensive. He added that the gas transit network of Georgia still needs further expansion and rehabilitation.

"By 2012, Bulgaria hopes to have a working transit of natural gas from Azerbaijan via Georgia and the Black Sea as one of its options for diversified natural gas supplies," the Economy Minister said.

In this respect, however, Bulgaria is lagging behind its northern neighbor Romania, which already has agreements with Azerbaijan and Georgia for the purchase and transit of liquefied natural gas in the so called Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romania Interconnector (AGRI) project.

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Tags: azerbaijan, Georgia, Nikoloz "Nika" Gilauri, Boyko Borisov, Traicho Traikov, natural gas, gas transit, LNG, liquefied natural gas


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