Bulgaria, Greece Sign Gas Pipeline Deal

resizer82In a move designed to lessen Eastern Europe’s dependence on Russian gas, Bulgaria and Greece have signed an agreement for the construction of an alternative gas pipeline in the region. The agreement comes on the heels of a Nabucco pipeline deal signed in Turkey on Monday.

The Bulgarian state-owned Energy Holding (BEH) had signed a memorandum of understanding with Greek natural gas company DEPA to build a 100-kilometre pipeline link between Haskovo in southern Bulgaria and Komotini in northern Greece.

The Greek-Bulgarian pipeline is the extension of the ITGI to the Balkans., which will transfer gas from Azerbaijan to Greece.

The 120-million-euro pipeline, which is to be partially funded by the EU (45 million euros), will make it possible for Bulgaria to import natural gas from the Caspian Sea region in a bid to reduce dependency on Russian supplies.

The pipeline will supply Bulgaria with around one billion cubic metres of gas per year from Azerbaijan as of 2012, Bulgarian officials said in a statement last night carried by local news agencies.

On Monday, Bulgaria and four other countries agreed to route the Nabucco pipeline across their territories. The massive Nabucco project, which has seen many stops and starts, is intended to eventualy link Europe to gas resources in Central Asia and the Middle East – again hitting out at dependence on Russia gas supplies.

Nabucco is scheduled to start delivering eight billion cubic meters of gas a year in 2014, and a maximum of 31 billion cubic meters after that.

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