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Mihajlovic: Suspension of gas supply to Bulgaria does not affect Serbia's supply

Mihajlovic: Suspension of gas supply to Bulgaria does not affect Serbia's supply

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mining and Energy, Prof. Zorana Mihajlovic, PhD, said that the suspension of gas supplies from Russian Gazprom to Poland and Bulgaria after the two countries refused to pay for the fuel in rubles does not affect the supply of the Serbian market with this fuel and that Serbia receives gas through the Balkans via Bulgaria, which is a transit country.

"We receive gas through the Balkan Stream in regular, agreed quantities of 6 million cubic meters. We consume about 4.6 million cubic meters per day, which means we have enough for our needs. However, regardless of the regular supply, we have thought before about what we can do in case of unforeseen situations, ie interruption of gas supplies to the transit country, which, as it used to happen, can take gas for its own needs. It should not be forgotten that Bulgaria is 100 percent dependent on Russian gas and does not have the possibility to procure gas for its own needs from other sources. We hope that it will not happen, we are in communication with them all the time, "said Mihajlovic.

Deputy Prime Minister stated that the state is ready if such a situation occurs.

"We have several possibilities, ie options for which we are completely ready. One is to use gas from the warehouse in Banatski Dvor, where we have for now in 21 days only in our part. There are reserves in the Russian part for another 22 days. From that storage, 5 million cubic meters can be extracted daily, and we can additionally start, if necessary, in crisis plan number two, which means the substitution of gas with another energy source, usually fuel oil. The second variant is to supplement the storage in Banatski Dvor, and the third is to lease the capacity in a storage outside Serbia, for example in Hungary, and to think about joint gas purchase with Europe, "she explained.

Mihajlovic also said that all options are being considered in order to provide sufficient quantities of gas for the upcoming winter season, when the daily consumption is from 11 to 15 million cubic meters. Speaking about the new contract with Gazprom, she said that one of the options is to extend the existing one until the end of the year, instead of concluding a new long-term contract.

"We must ensure energy security in all ways, because at this moment, every country takes care of itself. When the Nis-Dimitrovgrad interconnection is ready, in September next year, then we will certainly be able to think about contracts with other suppliers. "Either we get LNG from Greece or gas from Azerbaijan," said Mihajlovic.