Bulgaria lifts gas rationing on industrial users

Bulgaria, again receiving Russian gas, on Wednesday lifted the gas rationing it had imposed on industrial users for 15 days, officials said.

Bulgaria lifts gas rationing on industrial users

Bulgaria, again receiving Russian gas, on Wednesday lifted the gas rationing it had imposed on industrial users for 15 days, officials said.

The Balkan country, which is almost fully dependent on Russian gas, had been forced to suspend or sharply reduce gas deliveries to industries since Jan. 6, causing direct company losses of about 170 million levs ($112 million).

"The crisis is over, the gas has come back," Economy and Energy Minister Petar Dimitrov told reporters after announcing the end of the gas rationing.

Russian gas started flowing into Ukraine on the way to the rest of Europe on Tuesday after Moscow and Kiev ended a prolonged price dispute by signing a 10-year contract. The row had interrupted exports to Europe for two weeks.

Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev said Sofia would join with other European countries that had been hit by the gas cuts at a time of global economic slowdown, to seek compensation for damage inflicted on its economy.

He said the country, a European Union newcomer, would seek additional gas deliveries from Russia at a discount price as compensation and would speed up work on easing its dependence on Russian energy.

The contracted volume Bulgaria failed to receive during the cut-off amounted to 123.8 million cubic metres of gas and Sofia would base its compensation demands on that figure, Dimitrov said.

Reuters
Last Mod: 21 Ocak 2009, 17:53
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