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Gazprom Frustrates Bulgaria's Hopes for Gas Contract with No Middlemen

Date: 24.06.2009

Russian energy giant Gazprom would not agree to a new gas supplies contract with Bulgaria eliminating middlemen until all existing arrangements have been fulfilled. This was announced Wednesday by the CEO of Gazprom, Alexander Medvedev, during a press conference in Russia's capital Moscow.

In Medvedev's words, Bulgaria's state-owned gas monopoly Bulgargaz, and Gazprom were continuing the talks for eliminating the intermediaries in their trading relations. The matter was discussed during the meeting of the top managers of the two companies in Moscow, the Bulgarian National Radio reported.

The Gazprom CEO, however, was positive that Bulgaria could get a new contract for Russia natural gas supplies only after all commitments that were presently in force were completely realized.

Medvedev also said that the consumption of Russian natural gas in Europe had declined by 11% since the beginning of 2009 compared to the same period of 2008.

In his words, the is significant but is not "dramatic", and in the recent months there has been a trend of rising European demand for Russia gas.

According to Gazprom's estimates, the average price of Russian gas in Europe in 2009 will be about USD 280 per 1000 cubic meters. This is about the 2007 price level compared to the 2008 when the average price went above USD 400 per 1000 cubic meters.

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