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Increased liquidity and new low prices achieved on the platform of Balkan Gas Hub EAD
Dear partners, We would like to inform you that as of 16:00 today, on the anonymous long-term segment on the Balkan Gas Hub EAD trading platform an offer has been made with a delivery period June 2020 with a price 18.80 BGN/MWh or 14 % less than the estimated regulatory price for June 2020. The platform is open for monthly product “June 2020” transactions until the last business day of the current month which could also lead to a real transaction for the volumes offered at the respective price. It should be noted that the proposed offer with a price of 18.80 BGN /MWh includes costs for access and transmission to a virtual trading point which makes the price even more competitive. In addition to the above, as of 16.00 today, natural gas of 1470 MWh at an average price of BGN 20.71 per MWh was traded in the segment "within-day", and clients of “Balkan Gas Hub” EAD platforms made a deal with a delivery period "weekend 16/17.05” in a total volume of 2600 MWh at a price of BGN 20.65.  
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Energy Regulator Approves Natural Gas Price Reduction of Over 34% for August, September 2019
The Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) announced here on Monday that it has confirmed changes in the price of natural gas for the months of August and September 2019. The natural gas price for the period of August 5 - 31 is 34.79 per cent lower compared to the previous price set by the regulator for that period, while for the month of September the reduction is 34.32 per cent.

EWRC held a meeting behind closed doors on May 8, during which it adopted decisions in connection to Bulgargaz's submitted requests to confirm the prices for the two periods, at which the company can sell natural gas to end suppliers and customers connected to the gas transmission network.

The goal was to calculate the sums which Bulgargaz, being the public supplier, and the end suppliers have to reimburse to their clients, after it signed in March 2020 an annex to its agreement with Gazprom reducing the price of natural gas by over 40 per cent as of August 5, 2019.

Reimbursements will be made to end suppliers and clients, who are connected to the gas transmission network, including persons who have been issued licensure for the production and transmission of heat energy.

The confirmed price by EWRC is 29.28 lv/MWh (excluding access and transmission costs, excise duty and VAT) for the period August 5 - 31, 2019. This is 15.62 lv/MWh, or 34.79 per cent, less than the previous price confirmed by the regulator on June 28, 2019. The price for September is now set at 29.49 leva/MWh (excluding access and transmission costs, excise duty and VAT), which is 15.41 leva/MWh, or 34.32 per cent, less compared to the previous price.

These prices do not include costs for accessing the natural gas transmission network and for transmission.

This week, the regulator will hold meetings behind closed doors to decide on the price of gas for October, November and December of last year.

EWRC is conducting an analysis on the impact of the natural gas price changes during the period between Ausgust 2019 and March 2020 on the prices of heating and electricity produced by TPPs with high efficiency cogeneration, and will make a separate decision on those prices. LN/MY Source: BTA
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13-05-2020
The IGB project is key to gas security and natural gas supplies in Southeast Europe
Bulgaria has always been a notable factor in the transit of natural gas from East to West. And although in recent decades supplies have been tied to only one source, in the last few years the curtain of opportunities offered by the free natural gas market has already opened for Bulgaria. How can we improve our positions on the gas map and focus on real supply diversification? Of course, with the provision of various suppliers of gas. And the most coveted such supplier at the moment is Azerbaijan. Our country has agreed for years on the supply of natural gas from the Shah Deniz 2 field, and now things are on the final straight. After years of negotiations and difficulties, the gas interconnector between Greece and Bulgaria is already under construction (the IGB project). It is at this facility that the first deliveries of natural gas are expected to start next year. The good news for Bulgaria is that the financing of the project is already guaranteed - both with the personal participation of the shareholders and with a large loan from the European Investment Bank, secured by a state guarantee. IGB was also approved for grant funding from the European Structural and Investment Funds. On the territory of Greece, in connection with the development of the Southern Gas Corridor, it is possible to connect IGB with the TAP gas pipeline and with the gas transmission infrastructure of DESFA S.A. –  and hence the possibility of supplying LNG from Greek terminals - the existing Greek liquefied natural gas terminal Revithoussa, as well as the one designed in Alexandroupolis, in which Bulgartransgaz is a shareholder. The interconnection is designed to transport 3 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year from Greece to Bulgaria with the possibility of increasing capacity to 5 billion cubic meters per year. It is planned that the new gas pipeline will have the opportunity for reverse supplies of natural gas in the direction of Greece in case of need. The deliveries will be made through the already built Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline - TANAP. From there to the Greek city of Komotini, deliveries will be made via another gas pipeline - TAP, which is supported by the European Commission and will also be completed soon. In fact, European solidarity is key to building the gas connection from Komotini to Stara Zagora. And while for the EC projects are important, for Bulgariq IGB is really the key step towards diversification of gas supplies and creating a competitive free market. This is the reason why our country continues to invest efforts and funds in the project for supplies from Azerbaijan. In fact, for IGB, it is planned to supply gas through liquefied gas terminals. That is why the Bulgarian government has decided to reserve about 500 million cubic meters of natural gas annually by Bulgargaz from the future LNG terminal near Alexandroupolis. These quantities of gas will be delivered to our country through the interconnector with Greece. To confirm its huge interest in the terminal project, the government has already announced that it wants to acquire 20% of the shares of the future facility. The project in Greece is being developed by Gastrade. Supplies of liquefied natural gas The binding phase of the market test for the liquefied gas terminal in our southern neighbor has recently been completed - this step was key to the continuation of the project. Greek and international natural gas companies, as well as end users, have confirmed their interest in reserving capacity at the terminal. The total long-term profile of binding offers is for a period of up to 15 years and reaches 2.6 billion cubic meters per year. It will meet the growing gas demand in the region in the medium and long term, provide regional access to LNG from various sources, including LNG import from US, at prices that are related to liquid gas hubs, and will support consumers' access to natural gas and the entry of new entrants, which in fact would increase competition. The liquefied natural gas in the LNG terminal will be regasified and delivered to the markets of Greece and Southeast Europe. Not only the Greek gas transmission system will be used for this purpose, but also the IGB gas pipeline. It will be able to deliver fuel to the markets of Romania, Serbia and Hungary, and why not to Ukraine one day. The successful implementation of the terminal can give an additional impetus to the Bulgarian-Greek interconnector, as it will allow to increase the capacity of the pipeline, which can only benefit our country. It is the possibilities for optimal synchronization and interaction of IGB with projects such as TAP, TANAP and LNG terminals that make it so important for the national interests. It is no coincidence that the project has already been marked as such of national importance by a decision of the Council of Ministers. Regional gas security The integration of the project with the Southern Gas Corridor and a number of other gas initiatives in Eastern Europe proves the importance of the pipeline for the real diversification of supplies regionally. Strong support for the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector is provided by the European Union, which provided grant funding for just over a third of the project cost. Bulgaria has also pledged a state guarantee for a BGN 215m loan from the European Investment Bank. IGB is also the gas highway, which can provide security and reliability in the supply of natural gas from alternative sources. A number of established energy experts have already recommended Bulgaria to speed up the construction of the gas interconnector with Greece. Only in this way can our country ensure real diversification. The pipeline itself is extremely important for the whole of Southeast Europe and because of its ability to transit liquefied natural gas from terminals in Greece and Turkey. This is stated in a report of the European Policy Institute, which was presented several months ago. The authors of the report are Dr. Dimitar Belchev, Director of the Institute for European Policies and Dr. Plamen Petrov, a member of the Bulgarian Geopolitical Society. According to them, it is realistic to expect that from the middle of 2021 Bulgaria will start receiving 1 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Azerbaijan. Then, for a period of about a year and a half, Bulgargaz could find itself with a serious surplus of gas and this could force it to completely stop importing from liquefied gas terminals in neighboring countries. Of course, this is a matter of trade policy and opportunities for Bulgargaz to also export gas from Bulgaria. However, the complete rejection of a long-term supply contract by Gazprom also carries risks, because over time the market situation may reverse and Russian gas may become cheaper than liquefaction again. The greatest hopes for diversification of supplies, as well as for new transit flows through Bulgaria, are placed on the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector, as it is designed as a northern extension of the Azerbaijani gas route east-west from the large sea field Shah. -Denise to the EU, explain the authors of the report. According to them, there may be a problem with loading the full capacity of the IGB. At the auctions, a transmission capacity of 1.57 billion cubic meters per year was reserved, of which 1 billion is Azerbaijani gas contracted for import into Bulgaria.
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08-05-2020
TASS: US Secretary of Energy Brouillette praises new OPEC+ agreement as ‘historic deal’
The energy sector of the United States will soon recover from the recent ‘price wars’ on global oil markets and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and will emerge ‘stronger than ever before,’ US Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette said in a statement, as reported by TASS.

"Today, thanks to President [Donald] Trump’s leadership, Russia and Saudi Arabia have finalized a historic deal, ending a price war that has caused unprecedented uncertainty in global oil markets," Brouillette stated.

"I commend the President for his strong leadership and all parties for coming to a consensus that will benefit nations around the globe who are feeling the impacts of this serious market instability," he continued. "Under the Trump Administration, America has ushered in a historic era of growth in energy production."

"While the demand disruption caused by COVID-19 and the price war have greatly harmed the industry, I am confident it will soon bounce back stronger than ever before," US Secretary of Energy Brouillette added.

A videoconference meeting of the OPEC+ member states on Sunday ended with an agreement on oil production cuts. The new deal envisages an aggregate reduction in oil production by 9.7 million barrels a day in May-June, by eight million barrels a day in July-December, and further reduction by six million barrels a day between January 2021 and April 2022.

Russia and Saudi Arabia will cut their daily oil output by 2.5 million barrels each from the level of 11 million barrels. Other nations will decrease production by 23% on the October 2018 level.

Mexico, which refused to accept a quota of 400,000 barrels a day, will cut production by 100,000 barrels. The remaining 300,000 barrels will be compensated by the United States, which has committed to cut daily production by 250,000 barrels a day.

The deal may be revised in December 2021.
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13-04-2020
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Bulgaria's Parliament adopts amendments to law on climate change on second reading
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07-03-2020
The Parliament has adopted amendments to the Climate Change Mitigation Act on second reading, Focus News Agency reported.

The bill aims to enhance cost-effective emission reductions and low-carbon investments.

The reasons for the change in the law are related to the dynamics of international climate negotiations since the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015 and changes in European legislation in view of the revision for Phase 4 of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. Source: FOCUS News Agency
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Bulgaria to reopen restaurants, bars and cafes on June 1
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27-05-2020
Bulgaria will allow restaurants, bars and cafes to reopen at full capacity on Monday as the Balkan country further eased restrictions imposed in mid-March to stop the spread of the coronavirus, informed Reuters. Health Minister Kiril Ananiev issued a new order on Tuesday night, allowing bars and restaurants in tourism-dependent Bulgaria to go fully back to business ahead of the summer season. Ananiev also allowed the resumption of cultural and entertainment events, including theatres, concerts and stage performances. Dance classes could also resume, using up to 30% of their indoor capacity and up to 50% of the outdoor capacity. According to the order, however, discos, piano bars and night bars must stay closed as the country remains under a declared epidemic situation because of the COVID-19 disease until June 14. As of Wednesday, Bulgaria has 2,460 confirmed coronavirus cases, including 133 deaths, a relatively low number in Europe. Ananiev has already given the green light for restaurants, bars and cafes in the Black Sea state to resume operations in their outdoor sections on May 5. Bulgaria’s government introduced a state of emergency on March 14 that imposed travel bans, closed schools and shopping malls, and prompted many businesses to limit or halt operations due to restrictions and reduced demand. It started easing the partial lockdown in late April but continued to enforce strict social measures on many of its citizens and businesses, helping prevent widespread community spread of the virus. Bulgaria, a country with a population of less than 7 million, still requires social distancing in public places.
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Bulgaria to reopen restaurants, bars and cafes on June 1
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27-05-2020
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Bulgaria lifts ban on entry of citizens from EU and Schengen area
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22-05-2020
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Increased liquidity and new low prices achieved on the platform of Balkan Gas Hub EAD
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16-05-2020
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The IGB project is key to gas security and natural gas supplies in Southeast Europe
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08-05-2020
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State of Emergency to Not Be Extended beyond May 13
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05-05-2020
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