Views:4213
interview1

  Some time ago, I was approached by an established Bulgarian journalist who was trying to broker an interview with a Russian TV crew, ostensibly working for the international program of Rossiya 24 – one of the main Kremlin channels. Having rich, including negative experience with Russian journalists, who often creatively edit recorded content – blending unrelated parts so that the interviewee could easily appear as a retard – or just dump the interview altogether, I refused initially.   The last time, a TV crew from Moscow’s city channel, TVTZ, came over to shoot a propaganda slot, portraying Bulgaria as a totally devastated country after it joined the EU and NATO. These crude propaganda shots are meant for home use, aimed at convincing the Russian audience that the former brethren

Views:6698
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

Views:1708
gazoprovod

  The Russian government can do little to undermine the competitiveness of alternative supplies along the Southern Gas Corridor. Moreover, the suppliers’ list is rapidly expanding with new gas fields in the Azeri offshore of the Caspian (Absheron and Shah Deniz 3), Turkmenistan (swaps already under way via Iran with Azerbaijan), Iran, Northern Iraq and the Eastern Mediterranean. All this clearly alludes to the feasibility of alternative gas exports via Greece and Bulgaria to the rest of the EU. Gazprom’s nightmares are just starting to mature as soaring production and transportation costs within Russia do not leave much room for further cost-cutting.   Militarizing the Caspian Sea   To block the development and export of Caspian gas, including via the Trans-Caspian pipeline, Moscow decided to relocate its flotilla from Astrakhan

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Source: icgb.eu

  Shortly after President Aliev inaugurated the first phase of the Southern Gas Corridor and announced the opening of the TANAP pipeline on June 12th, Russia beefed up its wartime machine to block competition to its gas supplies in Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria. The timing of the agreement between the Turkish government and Gazprom on the onshore segment of Turkish Stream matched to the day the news from Azerbaijan. Ostensibly, this a legitimate defense of Gazprom’s market shares, having already lost substantial chunks in the diversified market of Turkey and Greece – where it accounts for 50-60% of the gas imports.   When the periscope moves on to Bulgaria – the bounty is a complete and seemingly durable monopoly. Yet, even in this small market, the Russian state company has

Views:4526
gasprom

  Margrethe Vestager, the EU Commissioner for Competition, made a long-awaited announcement May 24th, outlining the final decision on the anti-trust investigation against Gazprom. The media headlines picked different angles, some cheered the move for defending CEE customers, others pointed to a more pessimistic and pragmatic read – no fine for Gazprom. The press release alluded to the main achievement in the eye of the watchdog – the Russian gas giant had finally agreed to play ball. At a closer look, feelings are mixed and certainly a far cry from unqualified praise for the DG COMP’s work as the expectations in the CEE countries that Gazprom will be disciplined and punished for abusing its monopoly status were naturally greater.   The decision would undoubtedly raise eyebrows, when compared with a

Views:2513
map-nord-stream_1

  The emerging ruling coalition in Germany might be experiencing hiccups when it comes to agreeing on complex issues, but the Nord Stream-2 project has proven a consensual ground. The German government has formally objected to the EC-proposed amendments to the EU Gas Directive citing trivial protectionist arguments atypical for a nation that pretends to lead the EU. The German government’s interpretation of its support for the Nord Stream-2 is that it is not defending Gazprom’s, but Germany’s own national interests, implying that German and Gazprom interests — Russia’s — are identical and run counter to the European Commission embodied shared interests. This is essentially Berlin’s bottom line – EU is dear to us, but when it comes to cash – our interests rate higher.   There is nothing fundamentally

Views:4483
turkish stream

  The daily Vedomosti published an article on Turkish Stream, quoting Foreign Minister Lavrov on the need for direct EC guarantees and second rating bilateral agreements, signaling  rising nervousness at the Kremlin with the project advance. It is a most revealing moment for what Russia and its main energy pivot – Gazprom – can afford these days in defying market gravity, while leveraging the Kremlin’s geostrategic moves. Russia’s gas monopoly admitted in June that it is unable to raise project financing – neither in Russia, nor abroad. The new sanctions left Gazprom without a choice but to tap into its own pocket – the 2017 capex program. Banks and investment funds ignored Gazprom’s request, fearing project uncertainty and US sanctions.   The investments associated with Turkish Stream this year, according

Views:2022
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

Views:3070
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