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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bulgaria Sends Russian Gas To Energy-Starved Turkey

ISTANBUL, Turkey — Bulgaria has agreed to increase supplies of natural gas to Turkey between November 2000 and March 2001 in a deal that should help head off feared power cuts this winter.

The two countries said Wednesday they had signed a protocol on gas supplies in Istanbul late Tuesday.

Under the agreement, Bulgaria will increase gas supplies to Turkey to 36 million to 39 million cubic meters per day from 31 million cubic meters per day in November and December 2000. It also agreed to provide at least 40 million cubic meters per day between January and March 2000.

Last month, Turkish authorities warned of power cuts hitting industries this winter because of an energy shortfall. The new deliveries should ease any problems.

The Bulgarian deliveries rely on Russia stepping up its throughput to the pipeline. Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov agreed to the increase during a visit to Turkey a week ago.

Both increases are conditional on countries upstream on the pipeline pumping gas at the pressure they are contracted to provide.

Low pressure on the pipeline sparked cuts across Turkey last winter. Turkish officials expect the national energy deficit to rise to 7 billion kilowatt hours at year end from 2 billion in 1999.

Bulgaria asked Turkey to speed up Turkish infrastructure projects in Bulgaria and replace Ceylan Holding with other Turkish firms in the implementation of two delayed projects.

The spokeswoman for Bulgaria’s Regional Development Minister Yevgeny Chachev said in Sofia that the minister had made the request during talks with Turkey’s Energy Minister Cumhur Ersumer.

Ceylan Holding’s Bank Kapital is among 10 banks taken under the control of a fund run by Turkey’s Banking Supervisory Board.

Turkey said it had agreed to provide Bulgaria with details on the Turkish partners in the joint ventures as soon as possible.