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Bulgargaz with BGN 80 M Loss in Last Quarter of 2008

Date: 19.12.2008

Bulgaria's Minister of Energy and Economy Petar Dimitrov estimated Wednesday that the country's natural gas monopoly Bulgargaz would register a net loss of BGN 80 M in the last quarter of 2008.

Dimitrov based his estimate on the fact that the monopoly was selling natural gas at a price of BGN 120 cheaper than it was supposed to.

"In this context, it is absurd to spur public dissatisfaction with Bulgargaz because, as it is claimed, it robbed its clients. The company is currently fulfilling social functions rather than working as an economic enterprise", Dimitrov explained.

Dimitrov's comments came as a follow-up on Tuesday's statement by Konstantin Shushulov, the Chair of Bulgaria's State Agency for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR).

Shushulov said Tuesday the Agency might impose a BGN 1 M fine on Bulgargaz because it sold imported, and respectively more expensive natural gas rather than selling gas from its reserves at the Chiren storage facility.

According to Shushulov, Bulgargaz bought gas from Russian at the most expensive possible price, and incurred losses to the Bulgarian state of BGN 44 M.

As a result of this discrepancy, the DKEVR has decided to allow Bulgargaz to raise gas price by 11,79% starting January 1, 2009, instead of the 21,31% requested by the monopoly.

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