Bulgaria might chose to press for short-term contracts for natural gas delivery with Russian giant Gazprom after 2012, stated vice-Minister of Energy Mariy Kosev Tuesday.
Bulgaria's contracts with Gazprom expire end of 2012 and the Russian company has until end of June to specify terms for a possible long-term extension.
"Should the conditions for a long-term contract that Gazprom formulates this summer prove to be unfavorable for Bulgaria, we will be requesting short-term contracts," explained vice-Minister Kosev Tuesday at a forum in Sofia entitled "Natural Gas as an Instrument in the Low-Carbon Economy."
This proposal runs against received Gazprom practice, which involves long-term contracting for gas deliveries, and then extending the duration of already-existing contracts.
"We have to be careful not to hurry signing contracts with the Russian side that will bind us for a longer time, if we are serious about diversifying our energy sources," said the Bulgarian Energy vice-Minister.
Bulgaria's existing contracts are concluded chiefly not with Gazprom itself, but with three subsidiaries - Gazprom Export, Wintershall and Overgas.
Kosev also informed that the government is moving full throttle the projects of creating links between the gas systems of Bulgaria and neighboring EU members Romania and Greece, but also with non-EU neighbors Serbia and Turkey.