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Conference: Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline: Challenges and Prospects for the Black Sea countries and the Balkans
 
On 28-29 September 2012, a conference on “Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline: Challenges and Prospects for the Black Sea countries and the Balkans” was held in Istanbul, Turkey. The event was organized by the Entrepreneurship Development Foundation and included participants from Turkey, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, USA, and UK.




Mr. Ruslan Stefanov, Director of the Economic Program at the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD), was among the panelists on the prospects for the development of gas markets in the Black Sea Basin, and the panel on hydrocarbon transit revenues transparency in Georgia, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Ukraine. Mr. Stefanov provided an overview of the most significant issues related to the security of gas supply in the region, with a particular focus on the situation in Bulgaria. Among the main challenges for the development of independent gas markets on the Balkans (and in Bulgaria, in particular), were the extremely high import dependency on Russia (nearly 100%), insufficient regional gas integration, severely limited bargaining power, and deeply rooted governance issues related to the history of strong Russian lobbies, insufficient bureaucracy, and rent-seeking behavior in state-owned energy sectors. Mr. Stefanov also focused on the geopolitical and economic importance of the large international pipeline projects planned for the SEE region, concluding that the new routes would bring the region some advantages regarding its supply, however, these advantages are far from uniform.

During the latter panel, Mr. Stefanov presented an analysis of “Hydrocarbon Transit Transparency in Bulgaria”, providing an overview of the gas transit situation in the country. He indicated as main sources of non-transparency in gas and oil transit (i)the complete lack of competition, as Bulgaria’s transit network has been reserved for one supplier only until 2030, while also being served by two companies under the same state-owned monopoly (Bulgargaz and Bulgartransgaz), and (ii) the limited oversight from the EC. The conclusions are based on the report “The Level of Transparency of Oil and Gas Transit Operations through Bulgaria, Georgia, Turkey and Ukraine” that offers the first ever assessment of the process of transiting natural gas and oil in the region. The report concludes that all of the above countries face serious gaps in the transparency of its hydrocarbon transit activities, while access to information about transit tariffs, available capacity, and budget revenues has been severely restricted.

Agenda (Adobe PDF, 383 KB)
Report: The Level of Transparency of Oil and Gas Transit Operations through Bulgaria, Georgia, Turkey and Ukraine (Adobe PDF, 383 KB)
Presentation by Mr. Ruslan Stefanov, Center for the Study of Democracy: Hydrocarbon Transit Transparency in Bulgaria (Adobe PDF, 529 KB)
Presentation by Mr. Ruslan Stefanov, Center for the Study of Democracy: SEE Security of Gas Supply - Main Challenges and Perspectives with a Focus on Bulgaria (Adobe PDF, 791 KB)
 
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