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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bulgaria Agrees to Gas Deal For Delivery and Transport

SOFIA, Bulgaria -- Bulgaria has agreed to a deal on long-term deliveries of natural gas with Russia's Gazprom and enlargement of a pipeline transporting Russian gas to Turkey, Bulgarian officials said Wednesday.

"Gazprom confirmed its readiness to sign with Bulgaria a 10-year agreement for Russian gas supplies to Bulgaria," Bulgaria's Energy Committee deputy chairman Kiril Gegov said on arrival from Moscow after three-day talks.

The agreement will include supplies of 6 billion cubic meters in 1998, Gegov said. Russian gas supplies to Bulgaria could be increased depending on demand, he added.

Bulgaria may pay for up to 50 percent of its gas supplies with construction work carried out mainly by Bulgaria's state construction firm Glavbulgarstroy or with Bulgarian goods.

Bulgaria will try to arrange payment of $120 million owed by Ukraine for Bulgaria's participation in construction work at Russia's Yambourg gas field.

"Next week a tripartite meeting will be held in Ukraine between representatives of [state] Bulgargas, [Gazprom's export arm] Gazexport and [Ukrainian state] Ukragas. ... The debt will be probably paid with gas," Gegov said.

Bulgargas and Gazexport negotiations are due to start Thursday in Sofia for preparing a protocol between the two firms for completing construction of the last stretch of a gas pipeline to Turkey.

Gegov said: "This will allow us to run the pipeline at full capacity and transit between 8 and 9 billion cubic meters per year.

"We also agreed for Gazexport to finance the completion of this stretch if necessary," he added.

Gazprom has confirmed its readiness to help restore Bulgargas' 50 percent participation in Bulgarian-Russian joint gas stock company Topenergy, in which Gazprom has a 50 percent stake.

Bulgaria has a gas network of more than 2,000 kilometers on its territory and transits Russian gas to Turkey, Greece and Macedonia.