Officials meet in Sofia to work on interconnection agreement

Greek, Bulgarian, as well as Russian company officials and authorities looking to establish a Greek-Bulgarian natural gas interconnection agreement held a meeting in Sofia today to work on finalizing an agreement that will help liberalize natural gas trade.

According to energypress sources, officials representing DESFA, Greece’s natural gas operator, Bulgartransgaz, the Bulgarian operator, DEPA, Greece’s Public Gas Corporation, Bulgarian counterpart Bulgargaz, RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, its Bulgarian peer, as well as European Commission officials took part in the meeting.

Certain pending issues need to be resolved for the establishment of an interconnection agreement between DESFA and Bulgartransgaz, which will offer third parties, or independent natural gas traders, access to gas pipeline supply.

The agreement, a European Commission requirement, will also ensure uninterrupted flow of natural gas in any direction, depending on the needs of network users.

DEPA and Bulgargaz currently hold agreements with Russia’s Gazprom which take up all existing pipeline capacity. This will be changed to also offer Greek-Bulgarian interconnection access to other natural gas trading companies.

Just days ago, it was reported that M&M, a wholesale trading venture involving the Mytilineos Group and Motor Oil Hellas, took the initiative to become Greece’s first ever private-sector supplier to receive a natural gas order via a pipeline, from a northern pipeline interconnection in Sidirokastro, on the Greek-Bulgarian border. Reports said M&M has imported small amounts, on a daily basis, since the beginning of this month. M&M neither confirmed nor denied the report.

Natural gas imports by new traders are expected to intensify competition and offer benefits to industry as well as households and businesses.