Bulgaria on Tuesday signed a long-term deal for access to Turkey’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals and transit network, in a move to secure alternatives after Russia cut off deliveries in April.
The agreement between Bulgaria’s state-owned gas operator Bulgargaz and Turkish state gas firm Botas will allow the EU nation to unload LNG at its neighbor’s gas terminals and use the Botas network to transport gas.
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“Thanks to this agreement we secure the possibility to buy gas from all international producers and unload it in Turkey, where it’s most convenient for us logistically,” Bulgaria’s interim Energy Minister Rosen Hristov said after the deal was signed.
“The agreement is important for increasing the security of deliveries in the Balkan region,” Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said.
The 13-year-agreement would enable Bulgaria to transport up to 1.5 billion cubic meters of gas a year, he added.
For decades, Bulgaria had almost fully relied on Russia to cover its annual needs of about 3 bcm of gas a year.
But Moscow suspended deliveries to Bulgaria in April, after Sofia refused to pay in rubles in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Currently Bulgaria imports about 1 bcm of natural gas from Azerbaijan, and has also secured spots at the LNG terminal in neighboring Greece.
Donmez is expected to discuss a further deepening of Turkish-Bulgarian energy ties at meetings later Tuesday in Sofia alongside Bulgarian interim Prime Minister Galab Donev and President Rumen Radev.
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