Bulgarian Energy Minister Temenouzhka Petkova, who is paying a working visit to Israel, discussed with Israeli counterpart Yuval Steinitz the opportunities for supplying natural gas to Bulgaria, Petkova's Ministry reported Monday.
Energy supply security and the diversification of natural gas sources and routes are among this Cabinet's energy policy priorities, Petkova said during the talks, adding that the Eastern Mediterranean and Israel are viewed as a potential natural gas source. Bulgaria is interested in the opportunities for supplying natural gas to its territory from Israel's Tamar and Leviathan offshore gas fields.
Petkova presented to Steinitz the development of natural gas projects in Bulgaria. With the projects for the Greece-Bulgaria and Turkey-Bulgaria gas interconnectors, Bulgaria is an inseparable part of the South Gas Corridor's implementation, she said. An option for including the project for building a terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Alexandroupolis, Greece, is also being worked on, she noted. One of the possibilities for supplying Bulgaria with Israeli natural gas is precisely via the LNG terminals. The EastMed pipeline project for supplying natural gas from Israel to Greece via the islands of Cyprus and Crete is also being reviewed as an option, the Bulgarian Energy Minister explained.
The Israeli side was also familiarized with the concept for building a gas hub on Bulgarian territory. According to Minister Steinitz, his country's energy sector is developing significant natural gas resources, which could be exported. Steinitz voiced hope that his country can contribute to the natural gas supply diversification in Southeastern and Southern Europe, and especially Bulgaria, Greece and Italy.
The two ministers agreed to draft a memorandum of understanding in the energy sector with a focus on the opportunities for supplying natural gas from Israel's offshore gas fields. Opportunities for cooperation on cybersecurity in the energy sector were also discussed. In conclusion, Petkova said that Bulgaria would highly appreciate the Israeli companies' experience and good practices in the exploration for and mining of natural resources. She said that Israeli investors are welcome in Bulgaria.