Bulgarian natural gas market in transition

May 28, 2010 at 4:39 PM
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SOFIA, Bulgaria, May 28 (UPI) -- Bulgaria's state-owned natural gas company Bulgargaz is refuting claims that it is in conflict with the country's largest natural gas supplier.

Bulgargaz Chief Executive Officer Dimitar Gogov told a news conference, "There is no conflict or opposition between Bulgargaz and Overgas," the major intermediary in the supply of natural gas in Bulgaria, Novinte news agency reported Friday.

Since late last year, the Bulgarian government has pressed for a new deal with Russian natural gas giant Gazprom, which provides almost 100 percent of Bulgaria's natural gas, to eliminate Overgas as an intermediary and thus achieve reduced costs. The negotiations have been complicated by the fact that Gazprom has a 50 percent share in Overgas.

The current Overgas-Bulgargaz contract provides for the supply of 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas to be supply annually but the agreement expires at the end of the year. Overgas is Bulgaria's biggest private natural gas company, responsible for delivering about 70 percent of Bulgaria's total natural gas imports.

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