With new Bulgaria deal, Türkiye boosts its position as gas trade hub

Türkiye and Bulgaria on Tuesday signed agreement for transmission of up to 1.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year

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The landmark 13-year gas deal signed between Türkiye and Bulgaria this week presents an opportunity for greater gas trade with the rest of Europe, the top energy officials from both countries told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.

Sitting for an interview in Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez and Bulgarian Energy Minister Rossen Hristov spoke on the cooperation between the two countries over natural gas and energy, including an agreement signed Tuesday for the transmission of up to 1.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas a year.

In total, the amount of gas trade and transfer can reach up to 20 billion cubic meters, Donmez said.

'We will contribute to the security of Bulgaria’s energy supplies,' Donmez said, adding that the deal also opens the door to wider gas trade with the rest of Europe.

There is an unused pipeline connecting Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria to Türkiye. The pipeline was taken offline for the past two years once the Turk Stream came into operation.

'We can pump gas to Europe via reverse flow through the idle pipeline,' Donmez added.

In an effort to become a gas hub, Türkiye has improved its gas infrastructure in past years and is continuing to strengthen its position as a gas trade center, Donmez said.

Such deals with neighboring countries are important in reaching that goal, Donmez added.

'We have largely completed our physical infrastructure,' he said.

'Now, with this agreement, I can say that we have actually started to reap the first fruits of this. It will be possible to transfer gas not only to Bulgaria, but also to other neighboring countries through Bulgaria.'


New gas deal opens door to expand regional trade


Bulgarian Energy Minister Hristov also said that with the new pact with Türkiye, both countries can expand trade in the regional area.

The war between Ukraine and Russia caused a gas flow disruption to Europe, and the only solution to the problem is 'through the unified efforts of different countries,' Hristov argued.

Bulgaria and Türkiye have taken an important step in the right direction to help Europe with its energy crisis, Hristov said.

'The agreement carries great importance not only for our countries, but also for the whole of Europe,' he added.

Hristov said the new deal will give both countries the necessary infrastructure to meet the natural gas demands of other neighboring countries, such as Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, Serbia and North Macedonia.