Russia Says Gazprom in Talks with Overgas over 'Commercial Issues'
Russia is carrying out talks with Bulgarian-Russian company Overgas to settle "trade issues" of the past few years, but will continue delivering natural gas to Bulgaria, TASS quotes the Foreign Ministy in Moscow as saying.
"Bulgaria will not be left without natural gas," the statement also reads.
On Wednesday, the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) reported it had received a copy of a letter from Russian energy giant Gazprom Export to Overgas, Inc. announcing supplies would come to a halt as of January 1.
Overgas, Inc. denied having received such a notice.
Russia, however, on Thursday made clear it was working to settle certain issues with company.
"Russia’s Gazprom management, supplies of Russian natural gas to Bulgaria continue seamlessly to state-owned Bulgargas in the amount of 3 billion cubic meters in line with annual demands of the country," the Foreign Ministry says.
"These may be increased later on. Negotiations in terms of settling commercial issues accumulated in recent years continue with Overgas, cooperation with which provided not more than 10% of the annual gas consumption until now."
It was reported on Wednesday that Prime Minister Boyko Borisov had carried out an urgent meeting with top Bulgarian energy officials, instructing Bulgargaz to prepare to supply natural gas to the private company in case the latter faces a halt in deliveries from January 1.
A second meeting is due later on Thursday, at 17:00 local time (EET).
Overgas, Inc. delivers gas to both industrial consumers and suppliers. Its subsidiary Overgas Mrezhi ("Overgas Network") provides gas for more than 55 000 households and 3000 businesses. 50% of of it are owned by Gazprom Export.
Recent reports have suggested the Russian concern might be seeking to withdraw from the company.
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