20:23 GMT25 January 2020
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    ATHENS (Sputnik) - Bulgaria's Bulgargaz and Russia's Gazprom have agreed for Bulgaria to start receiving Russian gas directly from the TurkStream pipeline rather than through Romania starting 1 January to save some 81 million leva ($45 million), the Bulgarian gas company has said in a statement.

    According to a statement, the Russian and Bulgarian gas giants signed an additional agreement on 30 December under which Bulgaria is to switch from receiving gas from the Negru Voda point in Romania to its own compressor station in Strandzha where the fuel will come from Turkey.

    "The financial gains from changing the receiving point are estimated to be approximately 81 million leva. Bulgargaz and customers in Bulgaria will save by no longer having to pay for access to and transit through the territory of Romania worth an approximate 76 million leva", the statement read.

    Lower prices set by the Bulgartransgaz operator for gas via Strandzha adds an additional 4.6 million leva to the total savings.

    The company has promised lower gas prices in the next three months and said it was in talks with Gazprom to negotiate better prices for Bulgaria. Sofia has also voiced a readiness to transit Russian gas westward to Greece and North Macedonia.

    TurkStream is a projected 570-mile twin pipeline to run from Russia through the Black Sea to Turkey, at which point one of the branches will continue further up to southern and southeastern Europe. The launch is scheduled for 8 January, as both branches are now filled with fuel.

    Russia has been supplying gas to Bulgaria since 1974 and is currently the only exporter of natural gas on the Bulgarian market. Last year, Bulgaria finished building a 7-mile segment of a pipe to link TurkStream to the so-called Balkan Stream pipeline network of Bulgaria and Serbia.

    Tags:
    TurkStream, Russia, Bulgaria
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