Alternatives & Analyses: Bulgargaz refutes start of diversification with Azeri gas imports

In response to the Eurodikov program’s questions, the state gas trader Bulgargaz admitted no Azeri natural gas imports to Bulgaria since the beginning of the year.  The state gas trader’s CEO Nikolay Pavlov’s claimed January 1 during live stream sessions of PM Borisov from gas compressor station that Azeri gas has started flowing into Bulgaria’s gas system. The letter confirms Bulgartransgaz’s data, contradicting PM Borisov’s claim of real diversification of Russian gas.

Bulgargaz press office also unveils amendments to the original contract with the Azeri Gas Supply Company, changing the delivery point until the end of September and reducing purchase quantities from 750 to 225 million cubic meters of gas. These new revelations raise serious questions about the commercial logic and motives behind the decision not to take the originally committed volumes.

Bulgargaz prefers its contracts with Gazexport over those under the Azeri gas contract.

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It is improbable that for the last three months of the year, Bulgargaz will take 775 million cubic meters to make up for the original commitment of 1 billion cubic meters per annum. It Is unclear how this will reconcile with the purchase guarantee of 108 million dollars.

It is even more alarming that currently, due to its oil indexation, Azeri gas is the cheapest gas in the entire EU. It defies common sense to charge Bulgarian consumers more for a 60 per cent more expensive Russian gas. The current price differences between Azeri gas and spot prices yesterday exceeds of 7 euros/MWh.

No wonder the Azeri natural gas supply company has agreed to cut volumes and postpone supplies, as it will have no problems selling and collecting the benefits.

Remains unclear who sells this ‘excess’ gas  – ASGC or Bulgargaz.

Bulgargaz’s letter to EuroDikov program refutes Prime Minister Borissov’s claim that a new era of natural gas diversification has begun. The Russian gas monopoly is intact.

Not only the Bulgarians but also the world agencies were misled.

Ilian Vassilev

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