KEYWORDS TODAY: Crimea
Bulgaria is among the five countries in Europe that purchase natural gas from Russian giant Gazprom for the highest prices.
In the first half of 2012, only Bulgaria, Macedonia, Bosnia, the Czech Republic and Poland paid more than USD 500 per 1 000 cubic meters, according to data from Gazprom, obtained by the Russian daily "Izvestiya."
The average price for Europe in the first six months of 2012 was USD 413 per 1 000 cubic meters, while Macedonia paid USD 564, Poland - USD 526, Bosnia - USD 515, the Czech Republic - USD 503, and Bulgaria - USD 501....
If cheaper gas is wanted, then the answer is shale gas. People rallied against shale gas exploration in Bulgaria without putting it into context - Bulgaria is one of Europe's most sparsely populated countries, with a population density less than 1/3 that of Switzerland and 1/4 Germany and the UK. There are huge tracts of Bulgaria with extensive shale gas deposits but without any population. Until this alternative source of gas is exploited, Bulgaria, as a small country with limited buying power will remain at the mercy of price hikes by Gazprom and the other members of the gas cartel.
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