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Бурмистрова и Медведев

  The speculative interpretations on the secretive nature of the trip of Gazexport’s top managers to Sofia last Friday, beyond doubt, will build up due to the total absence of facts and details. This is an inevitable consequence as one compares the media frenzy around the visits of the top brass at Gazprom to the country on previous occasions.   To begin with, the decision to keep the meetings with Bulgartransgaz secretive reflects the content and the range of topics covered. The classic is: both sides need to agree to keep the exchange out of the public record. Gazprom and BTG, as hosts, have no interest in disclosing details, as the negotiations cover a very sensitive topic – the extension of Turkish Stream through Bulgaria.   Two events have marred the

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gaz

Sorry, this entry is only available in Bulgarian.

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ilian vassilev

  19.9.2018, ICIS, Aura Sabadus     Bulgarian gas incumbent Bulgargaz has failed to clinch more attractive terms from its supplier Gazprom despite a recent EU anti-trust investigation, a former Bulgarian ambassador to Russia told  ICIS in an interview.   The investigation would have provided Bulgargaz significant support in its negotiations with the Russian producer.   Speaking to ICIS this week, Ilian Vassilev, said Bulgargaz could have requested price reviews and more lenient terms linked to take-or-pay as part of a long-term 3 billion cubic metre/year supply contract with Gazprom. But, instead, Bulgargaz was acting as an “extension” of the Russian producer, passively ac- cepting existing terms, Vassilev said.   Vassilev, who is currently managing partner at eastern European advisory firm Innovative Energy Solutions, said the incumbent had not asked

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gasprom-bulgargaz

  Since mid-August, the ritual of communicating the bad news of the imminent natural gas price hike has been in motion. It is now a matter of time before politicians and parties join the chorus and contribute to the drum beat. Energy being everyone’s domain, the chorus draws across government-opposition and party fault lines. Quite often the battle for domination and redistribution of power within the energy sector rages within the GERB and BSP parties – survival of the fittest rules in which the weakest link short-circuits and leaves the scene.   The scenario in a nutshell is the hot potato – the responsibility for the gas price increase, which is expected to be in the range of 15%, will ultimately be attributed not to the main culprits – Gazprom

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gas to turkey 1

There is nothing kept secret that will not come to light. reads the Bible.   While in Moscow, Borisov and Putin agreed that Bulgaria should oppose the granting of extended powers to the European Commission to represent the Union in the legal and regulatory battle over the new infrastructure projects of Gazprom – Nord Stream -2 and the extension of Turkish Stream on EU territory.   The Bulgarian media overflow with superfluous analogies made to accommodate the political expediency of politicians betting on the Turkish and Nord Streams.   Germany claims to have been trying to justify engagement with Nord Stream – 2 on business grounds. The analogy goes that Sofia could join in Germany’s brokerage gas affair with Russia – a sheer fallacy, typical for politicians that defy market gravity, believing in the omnipotence of politician’s

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gaz

  The need to move beyond the Balkan Gas Hub “Russia-only” or “Russia-mainly” paradigm seems indispensable if the ‘hub’ project – in the broad sense – has any chance.   The talk of billions of cubic meters of natural gas from non-Russian sources deserves a serious look to the north, but mostly to the south – The Southern Gas Corridor.   Yet what seems logical to everyone, does not inspire the management of the TSO of the Bulgarian gas system. The fact that none of these routes – TANAP, TAP or the Greek-Bulgaria Interconnector – contain specific numbers for potential gas flows makes things seem pre-ordained. The BGH essentially seems to be conceived as a redistribution center for Russian gas.   The likelihood of non-Russian gas emerging both at the

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hub balkan1

    Quod licet Jovi, non licet bovi.   The Balkan gas hub has become synonymous and in many ways a substitute for Bulgaria’s energy policy in the field of natural gas. In order to avoid speculating about the concept’s different variations, hereinafter is the official project draft, as presented by the national TSO, Bulgartransgaz, with a price tag above USD 2 billion.   Although this might not be the latest update, as it does not fully accommodate developments from Turkish Stream, the map is a fine departure point for an analytical exercise, explicitly demonstrating the virtues and the shortcomings in the conceptual design and implementation phase.     The key question is – what does Bulgaria strive to achieve?   To begin with, the country’s energy policies should not

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gazoprovod

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ilian vassilev

  In understanding the “pros” and “cons” of spot vs oil prices, the main policy guidelines of the government should not be confined to just securing the physical supply of natural gas, but should allow for ensuring competitive interplay – the invisible hand of the market – between all traders, while protecting the consumers’ interests. This usually boils down to arriving at the best price, which is not always the lowest. Over time consumers start to cherish flexibility and response options to market turbulence over stable prices.   The answers to most of these questions are not contingent on whether we pick oil-based or spot prices. One may enjoy a low price for a certain period, only to be forced to buy mandatory ‘take or pay’ volumes that are not