Views:1404
GAZ 1

  Once Russian gas is dried out in the Ukrainian gas transportation system the country is in trouble. Bulgaria and Poland may come to help, rather than Germany and Brussels.     No one is guilty that on December 31, 2019 the current transit contract between Naftogaz of Ukraine and Gazprom of Russia ends. As the same time two highly controversial bypassing projects will soon become operational – North Stream-2 and Turkish Stream. That will end an era of the decades long Ukrainian gas transportation business of approximately 90 bcm per year from Russia to Europe and Turkey. Taking into account the hurdles the notorious North Stream-2 is facing the physical transit may not end completely but commencing on January 1, 2020 there will be no more long-term commitments on

This entry was posted in Bulgaria, Europe, The Region and tagged , , , , by Sergiy Korsunsky.

About Sergiy Korsunsky

Director of the Hennadii Udovenko Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine since October 2017. Dr. Sergiy Korsunsky served as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Republic of Turkey in 2008-2016. Prior to that for three years he served as Director-General of the Economic Department, Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Minister-Counselor and Acting Ambassador at the Embassy of Ukraine in the USA fin 2000-2005. Ambassador Korsunsky has extensive professional experience in strategic planning and development, including energy, trade and investment policy, regional security. He is a well known expert on geopolitics of energy. Dr. Korsunsky authored more than 200 publications, including 10 books. In 2008 he was awarded by the President of Ukraine for his economic achievements.
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transbalkan1

  Let us state the publicly known facts and try to assess the business merits of the deal. Bit by bit, slowly and systematically, so that even non-experts can understand.   We have a standing valid gas transit contract between Gazexport and Bulgartransgaz, using the current Trans-Balkan Pipeline, until 2030 with “secure” revenues of $ 1.2 billion. This is not the total contract amount, just the ‘ship or pay’ segment, accrued until the end of the contract. This is regardless of whether Gazprom decides to end transit through Ukraine, to take up alternative routes through Turkey, Germany or the North Pole. Cash in hand. Or almost.   Giving up on these receivables is a condition sine qua non, set by Gazprom, if we want to enter into the new venture

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lng_vessel

Sorry, this entry is only available in Bulgarian.

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gaz1

  As alluded to in previous analyses, there is a very diverse and intriguing picture behind the official results of the tender for engineering, procurement and construction of the Bulgarian section of Turkish Stream. A deeper look into the  tender procedures would offer ample ground to reason that so far it has defied European standards for project development and management, being closer to the model Gazprom uses along the entire South Stream chain of projects from Anapa on the Russian Black Sea to the Baumgarten Hub.   The original idea of engaging a Saudi company rests on the premise that, as a strategic ally of the United States, a company from the Saudi Kingdom could potentially “shield” Gazprom’s operation from Western and US sanctions.   One can hardly anticipate that

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putin_gazprom

  This is the key line Russian President Putin used at the plenary session of the International Arctic Forum, which was instantly relayed by all Russian media, mainly by TASS, Russia Today and Sputnik. There is nothing new in this vintage Russian propaganda, which is echoed by pro-Russian politicians in the EU – Russian gas is indispensable and the cheapest gas in the world, while US-sourced LNG is expensive and inferior in quality.   EU budgets, he asserts further, will have to compensate European consumers for the price difference between US LNG and pipeline gas from Russia. Even if one sets aside the basic fact that the budgets of EU countries and that of the Russian state are profoundly different in structure, the EU legal and regulatory bases make it

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russia europa

  My favorite Russian diplomat is Ambassador Chizhov. He tops my rankings as the most outspoken Russian diplomat on a range of hot topics in EU-Russia relations. He is entrusted by the Kremlin to challenge the EU on its home turf each and every time the European Council, the European Commission or the European Parliament passes a motion that affects Moscow’s interests. One clear mark of President Putin’s personal trust in him is the fact that Vladimir Chizhov is spending his record 14th year in office as Russia’s Permanent Representative to the European Union.   He did not waste time in reassuring Russians and Russia’s friends and partners that the amendments to the EU Gas Directive passed by the European Parliament on April 4th, amending key regulations for gas pipelines

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bulgargaz

  Bulgaria’s natural gas monopoly has finally announced in public its intent to buy natural gas in the second quarter of 2019 for its needs using an open and competitive procedure. This is the official narrative, at least what Bulgargaz is trying to sell to the public. The volumes are more than modest – 22 million cubic meters in April and 62 million cubic meters in May and June. That is nothing dramatic, yet the management and the government media use the opportunity to trumpet a major shift in Bulgaria’s longtime allegiance to Gazprom, as the country remains the sole SEE state with a near total dependence on Russian gas.   The national gas company, Bulgargas, has long been accused of acting as a Gazprom proxy with Stockholm syndrome, refusing

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gasprom-bulgargaz

  Bulgartransgaz has been noticeably absent from the public debate around the fate of South Stream-turned-TurkStream-turned-Balkan Stream, a project than can be summed up with the lone common denominator, ‘Borissov’ Stream.   Consider the arguments. We are told that the TSO, Bulgartransgaz, is facing an existential threat – bound to lose money as Gazexport dries up transit via Ukraine and consequently via Bulgaria. That is a valid argument insofar as there is no alternative or plan B, and the threat is imminent, credible and verifiable – i.e. gas transit cancellation via Ukraine is a given. Yet both hypotheses are speculative in varying degrees.   Since January 21, 2019, Gazprom and Naftogaz have been negotiating, with the help of the European Commission, a new ten-year gas transit contract through Ukraine. The

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borissov

  Electricity price hiccups over the last two months seemed timely to attest the required price assumptions for the financial model of the Belene NPP. These days, prices have returned to normal levels, but the idea of higher electricity prices, at par with revenue projections, gained some ground – ostensibly the free market at work.   There is a lot in common between the procedural patterns behind the Belene NPP and the Balkan Gas Hub. Most of the activities only nominally happen in the open – formal tender procedure, the rite observed, the end – terms agreed in advance. There is no true competition, no market interplay, no real public scrutiny, just political expediency.   Summarizing the main features of the applied policy line in pursuit of a lighter version