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Russian gas supply to Bulgaria reduces
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09:02, January 04, 2009

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The CEO of Bulgarian gas supplier "Bulgargaz" Dimiter Gogov said Russian natural gas supply to Bulgaria went down Saturday but has not yet reached a critical low point, according to local press report.

"The pressure in the pipe has gone down and since Saturday morning we receive lower quantities of natural gas," Gogov said.

Gogov declined to specify the exact amount of the supply reduction, but explained that the transit of gas through Bulgaria to Turkey, Greece and Macedonia has been affected.

However, Gogov said the domestic market is not threatened at this stage. He said current gas use in the country is about 10 million to 11 million cubic meters, adding that in case Bulgaria begins to receive less than 6 million to 6.5 million cubic meters of gas per day, there would be a shortage and limitations.

Gogov would not speculate on how the situation would evolve, but said it all depends on countries with which Bulgaria does not even have contractual relations.

"If the situation gets more complex and the reduction continues, it would be felt (by users)," he added.

Asked whether the heating utility companies should expect a drop in their own supplies, Gogov said that if the amounts "Bulgargaz" supplies to users are to be reduced, that would affect all users and not just some of them.

"Bulgargaz" has a schedule for supply in emergencies but this is not yet an emergency, the CEO said.

Russian natural gas supplies cover about 90 percent of Bulgaria's needs, and the reduction is attributed to the Russia-Ukraine conflict over gas supply.

Russia turned off natural gas supply to Ukraine on Jan. 1 after the two nations failed to agree on a price for 2009. That has resulted in downsizing supplies to other nations and affected Bulgaria, Poland and Romania.


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