Bulgaria Could Be 1st EU Country to Buy Gas from Azerbaijan

Energy | June 29, 2013, Saturday // 14:47|  views

An offical map showing the projected route of Nabucco West. Image by Nabucco/EPA/BGNES

The scrapping of Nabucco West does not mean that Azerbaijan has given up plans to deliver natural gas to Bulgaria, according to state oil and gas company SOCAR vice-president Elshad Nasyrov.

Bulgaria can even become the first EU member state to purchase gas from Azerbaijan, said Nasyrov, as reported by the Azerbaijani website abc.az.

The executive was commenting this week's decision by the consortium operating Azerbaijan's rich Shah Deniz field to scrap the Nabucco project and opt for the Trans Adriatic Pipeline instead.

Nabucco West was to pass from Turkey to Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria, while TAP is designed to deliver gas through Greece and Albania to Italy.

"There is a connecting gas pipeline between Greece and Bulgaria. If this proves technically possible, this pipe can be fed with Azerbaijani gas even at the first stage," stated Nasyrov.

The Bulgaria-Greece connection is not yet ready, but both countries are working on it, with Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev describing the project Friday as one of "strategic importance."

According to SOCAR vice-president Nasyrov, the construction of a direct connection between Bulgaria and Turkey would be "technically complicated and hardly economically efficient."

Bulgaria and Azerbaijan have already negotiated the future purchase of 1-2 B cub. m. of Azerbaijani natural gas per year.

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Tags: SOCAR, Rosen Plevneliev, natural gas, azerbaijan, TAP, Nabucco, Trans Adriatic Pipeline, greece


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