Bulgaria, Greece to Work Together on Gas Storage, Oil Pipeline Projects

Bulgaria's caretaker government said on Wednesday it approved the signing of two memoranda of understanding (MoU) with Greece, which will boost collaboration in the area of natural gas storage and secure pipeline imports of crude oil.

The first MoU, to be signed for a period of 12 months, will enable Greek natural gas suppliers using the national DESFA-managed grid to reserve volumes of up to 0.7 TWh per year for storage and use at Bulgaria's Chiren underground storage site, the government said in a press release.

Conversely, Bulgarian gas suppliers registered with grid operator Bulgartransgaz will be able to book slots, storage and regasification capacity of up to 2 TWh per year at Greek liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals.

Under the second MoU, Bulgaria and Greece will study the possibilities to restart a project for building an oil pipeline from the Aegean port of Alexandroupolis to Burgas on the Black Sea. The pipeline will allow the import of non-Russian crude to Burgas, where Bulgaria's sole oil refinery, Lukoil Neftochim, is based.

In the next few days, a Greek-Bulgarian working group will launch preliminary project research and will map out further action, with a view to completing the pipeline by the end of 2024. The pipeline is intended to entirely replace Bulgaria's current seaborne imports of Russian crude oil, which the country has been allowed to continue until end-2024, despite a EU-wide ban, in force since last month.

(SeeNews, January 4, 2023)

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