Bulgarian Gas Reserves in Chiren Depot to 'Enough for 45 Days'
Bulgaria's main gas depot by the north-west village of Chiren contains reserves for 45 days.
Due to the emergency situation in Ukraine, daily extraction of gas from Chiren has been halted, and accumulation of stockpile has been ordered instead, representatives of state entity Bulgargaz and gas transmission operator Bulgargaz have reported at a hearing in the Parliamentary Commission on Energy.
Gas extraction is the usual practice at this time of the year. However, the possibility of halting supplies from Ukraine has led to increasing storage.
According to the 2012 Emergency Action Plan, Chiren gas depot is to store at least 130 M cubic meters of gas, and as of March 12 it contains "a lot more" - some 192 M cubic meters.
Every day in winter, gas consumption is between 10 and 14 M cubic meters on the coldest days, with half of this amount being distributed among heating companies.
Connections with grids of neighboring countries Romania and Turkey are either under way or yet to be agreed and cannot be used as alternative sources of gas if a crisis sparks.
Experts have explained to the parliamentary committee that the construction of a gas connection with Romania, on the other hand, will not meet the deadline, which is April, and even if completed, it would be unusable due to grid incompatibility.
Transit gas pipelines could also provide Bulgaria with some 38 M cubic meters of gas.
Building links with Turkey is also due to start soon, as Bulgargaz and Bulgargransgaz's Chief Executives went to Turkey's capital Ankara on Wednesday to sign a Memorandum on co-operation regarding the construction of such connections.
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