Bulgaria Starts Getting Russian Gas Supplies Through TurkStream

Bulgaria’s state gas company Bulgargaz and Russia’s Gazprom have agreed for Bulgaria to start receiving Russian gas directly from the TurkStream pipeline rather than via transit through Romania starting January 1, RIA Novosti reported.

The move will save some 81 million levs ($45 million), the Bulgarian gas company has said in a statement. The Russian and Bulgarian gas giants signed an additional agreement on December 30 under which Bulgaria is to switch from receiving gas from the Negru Voda point in Romania to its own compressor station in Strandzha where the fuel will be coming from Turkey.

“The financial gains from changing the receiving point are estimated to be approximately 81 million levs. Bulgargaz and customers in Bulgaria save by no longer having to pay for access to and transit through the territory of Romania worth an approximate 76 million levs,” the statement read.

Lower prices set by the Bulgartransgaz operator for gas via Strandzha as opposed to Negru Voda adds an additional 4.6 million levs to the total savings.

The company has promised lower gas price in the next three months and said it was in talks with Gazprom to negotiate better prices for Bulgaria. Sofia has also voiced readiness to transit Russian gas westward to Greece and North Macedonia.

TurkStream is a projected 570-mile twin pipeline to run from Russia through the Black Sea to Turkey, at which point one of the strings will continue further up to southern and south-eastern Europe. The launch is scheduled for January 8, as both strings are now filled with fuel.

Russia has been supplying gas to Bulgaria since 1974 and is currently the only exporter of natural gas in the Bulgarian market. Last year, Bulgaria finished building a 7-mile segment of a pipe to link TurkStream to the so-called Balkan Stream pipeline network of Bulgaria and Serbia.