Bulgaria, Russia to sign new gas contract in May
Bulgarian gas monopoly Bulgargaz and Russia's Gazprom are expected to sign a new gas supply contract by May this year, local press reported Thursday.
Negotiations between the two companies started at the beginning of this year, and Bulgargaz would be ready with a draft contract by the end of February, Bulgargaz CEO Dimitar Gogov told the Energy Committee of the Bulgarian Parliament, Xinhua reported.
In case the negotiation process goes longer than expected and the contract is not signed by the end of 2009, Gazpromexport, a Gazprom export branch, will shut down supplies for Bulgaria, Gogov said.
Bulgaria's storage is now sufficient for another gas crisis, according to Angel Semerdjiev, CEO of Bulgaria's gas distributor Bulgartransgaz.
Head of the Confederation of the Employers and Industrialists Ivo Prokopiev had said earlier there might soon be another gas crisis for Bulgaria. The official did not elaborate.
Russian gas covers about 90 percent of Bulgaria's consumption. The Balkan nation was in a serious gas crisis at the beginning of this year, when a rift between Russia and Ukraine disrupted supplies to the European market.