Bulgaria to receive gas from Azerbaijan

Nov 14, 2009 01:00 AM

Bulgaria and Azerbaijan signed a deal for the delivery of Caspian gas, which will mark the first easing of Bulgaria's dependence on supplies from Russia. The agreement, which provides for annual supplies of over 1 bn cm of gas starting in 2011 or 2012 was signed in Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, during a brief visit by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
"Supplying gas from Azerbaijan to Bulgaria makes us an energy partner of the EU, and we hope that this partnership will develop further," Aliyev told.

Bulgarian Energy Minister Traicho Traikov said Azeri gas will be transported to Bulgaria through a future link to the Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy, or ITGI, pipeline, which is planned to carry Caspian gas via Turkey and Greece to Italy.
The new pipeline has been strongly supported by the United States as a way to give countries an alternative to Russian gas. The Greek-Turkish section of the pipeline was inaugurated in late 2007.

Traikov said that under the agreement Bulgaria and Azerbaijan will also look into transporting compressed Azeri gas through Georgia and then by tankers across the Black Sea.
Bulgaria was among the countries most severely hit by the gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine in January.

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