LONDON (ICIS)–Turkish gas grid operator BOTAS and Bulgarian Bulgartransgaz are poised to sign an interconnection agreement for cross-border capacity that could allow Turkey to sell gas ahead of Russian TurkStream exports into Bulgaria, three sources close to the matter told ICIS.
The agreement would cover the existing cross-border point which is currently used by Turkey to off-take 14 billion cubic metres (bcm)/year from Russia via the Trans-Balkan pipeline.
Russia, which is in the process of completing TurkStream and intends to export gas to central Europe via Turkey and Bulgaria would have to build a new exit point to link up with the Bulgarian transmission network, the sources said.
It is not known whether Turkey’s interconnection agreement with Bulgaria would include third-party access and what capacity the exit point would have. It is also unclear whether BOTAS would be able to introduce physical reverse flows or just use backhaul.
The existing Strandja-Malkoclar cross-border point is the eastern end point of the Trans-Balkan pipeline which transits Russian gas to Turkey and Greece via the Republic of Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria.
However, sources say Turkey could export gas in physical reverse flows because of upgrade works in the Bulgarian system.
Meanwhile the Russian exit point from Turkey into Bulgaria is yet to be completed. Russia is in the process of commissioning TurkStream 1 and 2, which will have an annual capacity of 15.75bcm each.
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