To complete Bulgaria-Greece interconnector, Romania buys Azerbaijani fossil fuels –


Energy Minister Virgil Popescu is trying to persuade Azerbaijan to increase oil and gas deliveries to Romania in a bid to diversify Romania’s energy resources as the Bulgaria-Greece gas interconnection is needed for the LNG supply is almost complete.

Romania is not as dependent on Russian fossil fuels as other European countries, but imports still account for almost a third of its energy consumption, with Russia covering around a quarter of natural gas needs and a third oil used in Romanian refineries. .

Even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Romanian energy officials began looking for alternative gas suppliers in the Black Sea and Caspian region and the Middle East, but no deal was forthcoming. has been announced so far. Popescu is currently leading a Romanian delegation to the Baku Energy Forum, a conference held in the Azerbaijani capital.

“We are finalizing the details of a collaboration in order to diversify the sources, but also to complete the supply of oil and natural gas to our country,” Popescu wrote on Facebook after meeting with representatives of the Azerbaijani oil and gas company. Socar.

The minister spoke of the “strong and solid relationship” between Romania and Azerbaijan, mentioning the frequent bilateral contacts. Popescu also said that “the collaboration between the two states in the field of energy is becoming increasingly clear”, and mentioned the “willingness to invest in joint projects to strengthen energy security and diversify sources and transport routes”.

But no concrete agreement has yet been announced. However, Azerbaijan’s energy minister said the South Caucasus country will increase its gas exports to Europe to more than 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) this year, from 8.2 billion recorded in 2021.

Azerbaijani Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov noted that in the short term, the Baku government’s priority is to develop export infrastructure to supply gas to the Balkans.

To receive gas from Azerbaijan, but also from other sources, Romania is waiting for the completion of the Bulgaria-Greece gas interconnection.

The interconnection will become operational on July 1, but Romania hopes that it will be increased to five billion cubic meters per year from the current three in order to be able to reserve significant capacity.

However, the pipeline will need more powerful compressor stations to reach the extended capacity, and Bulgaria is also negotiating to buy additional quantities from Azerbaijan.

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