Bulgaria Must Negotiate Gas Price Cut with Gazprom – Right-Wing MP

Energy | February 20, 2012, Monday // 15:42|  views

Right-wing MP Dimitar Bachvarov (L) has insisted that Bulgaria should seek a 10% reduction in gas prices from Gazprom. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency

The right-wing Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria (DSB) party have demanded that the government immediately start talks with Russia's Gazprom to renegotiate the terms of the gas supply contract.

The latest increase in retail gasoline and diesel prices caused the MPs to declare that the state had given up its authority over the Lukoil Neftochim refinery.

Speaking at a Monday press conference, Dimtar Bachvarov from DSB argued that Bulgaria could seek a gas price reduction of at least 10%, which had already been done by four European countries, including EU Member States.

"The market in Europe is already functioning according to new basic parameters and new prices. The government should also make use of the ideas for market-based pricing and reduce gas prices for Bulgaria because they are at the basis of the chain of price spikes", the right-wing MP stated.

On Friday, Gazprom reduced gas prices in its long-term contracts with European clients by 10%.

The concession came after talks with some of the biggest customers of the Russian energy giant, including France's GDF Suez, Germany's Wingas, Slovakia's SPP and Turkey's Botas.

Commenting on prices of liquid fuels in Bulgaria, Bachvarov said that he tariffs had reached a historic peak which did not correspond to the historic peak of crude oil prices.

He went on to stress that 7 EU countries had lower prices of diesel than Bulgaria.

The DSB MP insisted that the case of Lukoil was more problematic because the center-right GERB government had given up its responsibilities in a manner which was indicative of how weak the state was.

Over the last few days, fuel prices in Bulgaria soared past record levels from 2008.

After at the end of last week crude oil prices hit USD 120 per barrel, a peak not seen since last August, Bulgaria's Lukoil Neftochim refinery increased prices of the most common type of gasoline, A95, by 1.7% and prices of diesel by 1.41%.

As a result, prices went up by BGN 0.04 and BGN 0.03, respectively, leaving unleaded gasoline A95 with the price tag of BGN 2.57 per liter and diesel with BGN 2.70 per liter.

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Tags: natural gas, Democrats for Strong Bulgaria, Gazprom, fuel prices, gasoline, diesel, record high, Botas, GDF Suez


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