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Bulgaria supports SOCARís entering its oil products market

Tuesday, February 14
Bulgaria supports the entering of Azerbaijanís state oil company SOCAR and its oil products onto the Bulgarian market.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Trend, Bulgariaís newly-appointed Energy Minister Nikolay Pavlov recalled that a few years ago, SOCAR examined and discussed with the Bulgarian party the opportunities to enter the market of petroleum products in the country.

"We support the entry of new players in the petroleum product market, because this will increase competition and will have a beneficial impact on fuel prices and services provided," he said.

The minister pointed out that Bulgaria greatly values the partnership with Azerbaijan in the area of energy.

"A concrete expression of this partnership is the contract between Bulgargaz and SOCAR for the supply of 1 billion cubic meters natural gas per year as of 2020 from Shah Deniz 2. For us, this supply is of priority importance, since it will cover around one quarter of Bulgarian gas consumption to 2020," said Pavlov.

The minister expressed confidence that national gas companies on both sides will also work to carry out joint gas supplies to potential users in other countries of the Southeast European region through the Bulgarian gas transmission network and the recently-built interconnectors.

"Another area of our energy cooperation could be SOCAR to enter in the gas distribution in the country and in the market for petroleum products too," said Pavlov.

Bulgaria will receive gas from Azerbaijan from 2020, and the Bulgarian government plans to buy 1 billion cubic meters of gas per year with the possibility of increasing the volume in the future.

Currently, talks on delivering Azerbaijani gas via the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) continue. The IGB is expected to be connected to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), which is a part of the Southern Gas Corridor.

The Bulgarian government presented a package of projects to Azerbaijan in 2015 for energy cooperation. The Azerbaijani side was proposed to take part in the construction of a gas station, and to invest in the construction of oil and gas storages and refineries.