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Egypt might start supplying natural gas to Bulgaria in 2011

Date: 05.12.2008

The Bulgarian Energy and Economy Minister Petar Dimitrov announced Thursday Egypt might become a natural gas supplier for Bulgaria starting 2011.

Dimitrov discussed this possibility with Egypt's Minister of Oil Saleh Fahmi, who is in Sofia on an official visit.

The negotiating of Egyptian gas supplies for Bulgaria will be included in a bilateral memorandum, which will be signed during Prime Minister Stanishev's visit to Cairo in January 2009.

After that, the matter will be taken up by a special inter-government working group to be set up in February 2009.

Minister Dimitrov explained that if the negotiations are successful, the Egyptian gas would start flowing to Bulgaria in 2011. Initially, they will be between 0,5 and 1 billion cubic meters.

Bulgaria's Energy Minister and his Egyptian counterpart also discussed the possibility for the participation of Bulgarian firms in Egypt's oil and gas extraction sector, which might reduce the prices of the natural gas supplies to Bulgaria.

According to Dimitrov, Bulgaria would most likely receive natural gas from Egypt through the Turkey-Greece-Italy pipeline, which is to be connected with the Egyptian pipeline network. The Minister did point out, however, that it would be better if the supplies came through Nabucco when it was completed.

Dimitrov pointed out that Bulgaria was Egypt's best option for as a transit portal to the European energy system.

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