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Bulgaria Natural Gas Prices to Increase by 20% in January

Date: 28.09.2009

The prices of the natural gas in Bulgaria are expected to increase by 20 % in January 2010 if the oil remains around USD 70 per barrel, and mazut stays at USD 400-420 per ton.

The forecast has been made by Dimitar Gogov, head of the state owned gas distributing company Bulgargaz.

Bulgargaz also entered a proposal Wednesday in the State Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (DKEVR) for a 2,49 % increase in natural gas prices from October 2009. The decision of the DKEVR is expected to become clear on September 28.

In Gogov's words, the decrease in the natural gas consumption over the global financial crisis will result in the end of 2009 in Bulgargazto pay penalties to the suppliers Overgas Inc and Gaspromexport.

According to the current gas supply contracts Bulgargas pays the whole amount of gas initially ordered. However, in case the consumption is less, a "take-pay" clause comes to action.

So far, Bulgaria has never paid such penalties, despite the fact that two years ago the Russian side demanded such.

"It is improper to talk about penalties at this moment, until the year is not over", Gogov said.

In the end of 2010 the contract with Gaspromexport expires and Bulgaria wants to prolongate it with at least five years, until Nabucco and South Stream gas pipelines.

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