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Bulgaria risks running out of gas reserves

Bulgaria risks running out of gas reserves

Bulgaria could begin running out of its last natural gas reserves at the end of January if the dispute between Ukraine and Russia drags on, the country's prime minister has warned.
Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev flew to Moscow and Kiev to meet his counterparts on Wednesday, pressing his case that they must resolve their natural gas dispute before even worse winter heating disruptions hit.
With 92 percent of Bulgaria's gas supplies coming from Russia through Ukraine's pipelines and only 8 percent from a local source in the Black Sea, Bulgaria has struggled to keep households warm and factories running since Russia cut off gas flows to Europe on Jan. 7.
All heating plants in the country have now switched from gas to oil and have managed to maintain close to normal temperatures in homes, schools and hospitals.
Gas is pumped from the country's only gas storage facility in the northern village of Chiren at a daily rate of 4.2 million cubic meters, which has forced the government to impose gas rationing on industries.
"We are in a position to maintain gas deliveries to Bulgarian users at a level... which is nearly a third of the normal consumption ... until the end of this month," Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev told Parliament this week.
Government estimates put the total capacity of the Chiren storage facility at 1.27 billion cubic meters, but only 524 million cubic meters of that can be pumped out, as reserves are needed in order to maintain pressure to pump the gas.
The government says Bulgarian businesses have lost more than


Updated : 2021-08-02 01:11 GMT+08:00