Bulgaria to reduce Russian gas purchases from Azerbaijan

bolgariaBulgaria intends to reduce Russian gas import to half of foreign fuel deliveries in five years to come, Bloomberg agency reported on September 26, 2013 quoting Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliyev.
At present Bulgaria is dependent on Russian gas by 87%. Among the reasons of diversification of deliveries Plevneliyev called the intention to make economic growth safe. Bulgarian President referred to 2009, when the gas conflict between Russia and Ukraine left the country without fuel for two weeks.
Plevneliyev believes that Bulgaria has a chance to achieve annual GDP growth by 4-6% of GDP. However, in 2013 economy will grow only by 1%.
In November 2013 Gasprom sigend a long-term contract for fuel deliveries till 2022 with Bulgaria. The Russian concenrn has committed itself to deliver 2.9 billion cub.m. of gas a year. The contract envisages use of the South Stream gas pipeline by Bulgaria till completion of its construction. The first gas deliveries via the South Stream are scheduled for the end of 2015.
Sofia considers the trans-Adriatic pipeline (TAP), which will connect the Azerbaijani gas condensate field Shah-Deniz with the Western Europe, as an alternative to the Russia gas. Its carrying capacity will total up to 10 billion cub.m. and its construction will begin in 2015. On September 19, 2013 Bulgargaz company signed the 25-year-long contract to buy 1 billion cub.m. of gas a year from the Shah-Deniz field beginning since 2019.