Bulgaria utilities regulator cuts gas prices by 47.3% for November 2022

Bulgaria’s utilities regulator has approved a 47.3 per cent decrease in gas prices in the country for the month of November, setting the new price at 123.01 leva a MWh, excluding transportation costs, excise and value-added tax.

This was the second consecutive month that the regulator approved a significant cut in the price of natural gas, having reduced the regulated price by 34 per cent for October, following a number of steep increases earlier this year, which resulted in the gas price to more than double in the first half of 2022.

The Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (EWRC) said on November 1 that the price cut was the result of “the very competitive price conditions for the long-term contract for delivery of natural gas from Azerbaijan,” which are tied to oil prices for the previous six months, rather than current indices on major gas hubs.

Bulgaria began commercial operations of the Greece-Bulgaria inter-connector gas pipeline on October 1, allowing state gas company Bulgargaz to purchase the full amount of gas under the Azeri contract.

Previously, Bulgaria was only using 30 per cent of the one billion cubic metres a year contracted from Azerbaijan, due to the limited capacity of its link-up to the Greek gas grid.

Additionally, Bulgargaz signed two contracts for the delivery of liquefied natural gas (LNG) “at competitive prices,” EWRC said. An important factor was also the “sizeable” decline in gas prices on international gas hubs, the regulator said.

EWRC said that the surplus gas delivered in November would be pumped into the Chiren gas storage facility.

The regulator gave no update on the status of Bulgaria’s gas reserves ahead of winter, but the Council of the EU said last month that Bulgaria had filled 83.3 per cent of its storage capacity, just short of the 85 per cent agreed minimum EU target for the end of 2022.

(Photo: Marco Caliulo/sxc.hu)

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