Rosen Hristov: The contract with Turkish Botas is of strategic importance

Energy / Bulgaria
3E news
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The contract with the Turkish company Botas is for infrastructure for the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and is of strategic importance. This was said by the Acting Minister of Energy Rosen Hristov during his hearing in the Committee on Energy in the National Assembly.

"We are talking about reserving terminal capacity for LNG, regasification and transit through the gas infrastructure of Botas and delivery to Bulgarian territory," Hristov specified. "All speculations that this contract is for the purchase of Russian gas are false," he categorically stated. In this regard, he explained that the agreement with the Turkish Botas is essentially identical to the one our country has with the Greek side for reserving the LNG terminal in Revitusa. Similar is the agreement to reserve capacity at the terminal under construction in Alexandroupolis.

"The only possible delivery points for liquefied natural gas are in Turkey and Greece." Bulgaria cannot build an LNG terminal in the Black Sea, as tankers with liquefied gas are not allowed through the Bosphorus," explained the energy minister. In this regard, he specified that the source of gas is guaranteed with every purchase. "Absolutely every gas that Bulgaria buys has a certificate of origin. There is an explicit requirement that this is not Russian gas, and it is fulfilled," said Hristov.

The minister later explained in the framework of answers to the questions that the commitment of Bulgaria was given to bring a tanker with supplies to Turkish waters, and then it was taken over by the Turkish company.

He also rejected the allegation of involvement in the gas hub announced by Russian President Putin and his Turkish counterpart Erdogan. In response to a question about the prices of Botas, they are competitive with those offered for this service from Greece. "What affects in the end is the cost of the gas itself," he explained, adding that unloading, regasification and transit services are paid for, as is the case everywhere. The liquefied natural gas is purchased from Turkey and resold to Bulgaria with the agreed fee for the services. "The contract with Botas is of strategic importance", said Minister Hristov categorically. In this regard, he gave the example of EC President Ursula von der Leyen, who a few months ago offered such a contract for the purchase of LNG for EU countries. According to him, our country can become a strategic corridor for upgrading the gas transmission network. "We are working on a large-scale project," Hristov pointed out. The Minister of Energy, again in response to a question, explained that our country has a connection agreement with the Turkish company, which provides the necessary capacity of 100 percent for this gas, which can be supplied, avoiding specifics.

On the other hand, the energy minister outlined the strategic opportunities for diversification through the negotiations that are being conducted with Romania for the supply of natural gas after 2026 and the increase of gas flows from Azerbaijan. For example, on February 3, there is a meeting in Baku to increase capacity on the Azerbaijani side. As for Romania, the talks are about gas supplies after 2026, when the Neptune field is expected to come into operation, from which there will also be the corresponding quantities for gas supplies.

The Minister of Energy, in response to questions, also clarified that there are requests for exploration for gas extraction in the interior of the country. As for the offshore exploration, Hristov explained that the company, which is currently leading the exploration through the Ministry of Energy, has sought assistance in attracting the Turkish National Oil Company, including its entry as a partner in the consortium, and subsequently the production, including and with the possibility of renting a drilling rig at its disposal.



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