World Bulletin / News Desk
The ability to have reverse gas flows via the Trans-Balkan pipeline between Bulgaria and Romanian, Greek and Macedonian markets will ensure the pipeline's full-capacity utilization, which otherwise would be almost idle with the launch of the TurkStream 2 natural gas pipeline, according to a senior fellow at the EastWest Institute, an international affairs think tank on Tuesday.
Danila Bochkarev told Anadolu Agency it seems from a logistical and demand point of view that Bulgaria is the preferred route for the South Stream Lite -- what experts refer to as TurkStream's second leg for markets in Southern and Southeastern Europe.
Bochkarev noted that to facilitate potential access to other countries in southeast and Central Europe, namely Serbia and Hungary, the planned interconnector between Bulgaria and Serbia, which is expandable to 4.5 billion cubic meters (bcm), would facilitate access to these countries that declared their interest in obtaining gas via the TurkStream project.
"Also, Gazprom’s intention to expand the Banatski Dvor gas storage facility in Serbia suggests it sees the country as part of the project [TurkStream]," he said noting that in June 2018, Hungary's Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said Budapest is interested in importing gas through Bulgaria and Serbia via the TurkStream pipeline.
Italy's oil and gas industry contractor Saipem expects to finish the Bulgaria-Hungary gas link in October 2019, which will help deliver TurkStream gas to Hungary, he added.
"These countries show interesting potential because of increased gas demand in Southeastern Europe," Bochkarev asserted.