Bulgaria asks gas supplies from Turkey, Greece

The Balkan country is now meeting about a third of its daily gas needs with 4.3 million cubic metres from its sole storage facility.

Bulgaria asks gas supplies from Turkey, Greece

Bulgaria, hard hit by a row between Russia and Ukraine that has cut back gas supplies to Europe, has asked neigbours Turkey and Greece for natural gas, Economy and Energy Minister Petar Dimitrov said on Thursday.

Dimitrov did not say whether deliveries were technically possible. Bulgaria is under pressure to secure natural gas supplies because its stocks are running low, dozens of factories have shut down and public anger is mounting.

"We are discussing an option to open the transit gas pipeline (with Greece) and we ... expect to secure about two million cubic metres per day," Dimitrov told a news conference.

"We are interested in using the transit pipeline systems, going to Greece and Turkey ... If Turkey allows us to open the taps, we will start the reverse gas supplies from Turkey to Bulgaria," Dimitrov said.

He did not say when supplies could start and whether they would come from the two countries' own reserves or elsewhere.

Bulgaria, almost fully dependent on Russian gas, has been left without any deliveries since last Tuesday. It also lacks access to alternative pipeline routes.

Bulgaria agreed to receive natural gas from Ukraine's own reserves last week, but it was technically impossible to make the deliveries.

The Balkan country is now meeting about a third of its daily gas needs with 4.3 million cubic metres from its sole storage facility.

Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev said the country would be able to supply companies at the same level as now until the end of the month because milder weather this week would reduce demand and utilities had switched to alternative fuels.

The energy ministry had previously said the storage flow would start declining after Jan. 21.

Temperatures have risen above zero since Wednesday from as low as minus 21 earlier this week.

Reuters

Last Mod: 16 Ocak 2009, 11:34
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