PM Petkov negotiates US LNG supplies cheaper than Gazprom's
Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Kiril Petkov on May 11 met with US Vice President Kamala Harris. During the meeting in the white house, the two discussed strategic partnership between Sofia and Washington and the opportunities for expanding cooperation. An agreement was reached on liquefied natural gas supplies to Bulgaria at prices lower than those of Gazprom, starting from.June
The war in Ukraine was also a major topic on the agenda of the meeting. The Bulgarian Prime Minister pointed out that the events in Europe are a clear sign that there is a need for accelerated and real measures in the energy sector.
Vice President Kamala Harris congratulated Bulgaria for its decisive actions to defend its energy sovereignty. For his part, Prime Minister Petkov pointed out that the partnership of Sofia and Washington is an important part of achieving gas independence for Bulgaria, along with the solidarity support of the EU. It was also agreed to make real deliveries of LNG to Bulgaria at prices below those of Gazprom, starting in June.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Kiril Petkov held talks with Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department. The two discussed opportunities for partnership with the United States on energy diversification in Bulgaria and the region. Petkov and Blinken also discussed the modernisation of the Bulgarian armed forces, as well as the stability and development of the Western Balkans.
Petkov was on a working visit to Washiongton on May 9 and 10.
During his meetings in Washington, Prime Minister Kiril Petkov finalised negotiations for liquefied natural gas supplies from the United States, which started in February. It has become clear that the prices are lower than those at which Bulgaria was receiving blue fuel from Gazprom, but it is not yet clear exactly how much lower.
The supplies will start from the beginning of June. The volumes are not clear, but Deputy Prime Minister Assen Vassilev said on Sunday that Bulgaria’s public supplier “Bulgargaz” had already booked enough tankers to carry liquefied gas until the end of July, when pan-European deliveries are due to start under the contract between the European Commission and the United States. According to this contract, Europe should receive 15 billion cubic metres of US LNG by the end of the year. Prime Minister Petkov has reportedly agreed with the US to have regular, not temporary, supplies.
There are two supply options - one via Greece, once the interconnection between the two countries is completed. Bulgaria is also a shareholder in the construction of a liquefied gas terminal at the port of Alexandroupolis. Turkey also has many terminals for unloading liquefied gas tankers and has sufficient spare capacity. On Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Assen Vassilev said that they are working on supplies through Turkey, the spare capacity of the pipeline between Bulgaria and Turkey is 17 billion cubic meters, and the consumption in the country is 3 billion. In other words, there is enough spare capacity both for domestic supply and for transit to other countries. If we look at the Southern Gas Corridor, logistically there are other options for supply. Exactly which one will be chosen remains to be seen. Prime Minister Kiril Petkov is due back from the United States late tonight and is expected to brief the government on May 12 on the agreements reached in Washington.