Gazexport General Director Alexander Medvedev and Bulgargaz Director Kirill Gegov have signed a new contract for the supply of Russian natural gas to Bulgaria, according to the Gazprom press service. Gazexport is a subsidiary of Gazprom. The signed document is part of a larger memorandum, which was signed on March 2, 2003, about furthering Bulgarian-Russian cooperation in the area of supply and transit of Russian natural gas. The memorandum provides for the use of Bulgarian gas pipelines to Greece and Macedonia to supply gas to costumers in southwestern Bulgaria. The contract signed by Medvedev and Gegov provides for the supply of Russian natural gas through December 31, 2004 for the three Bulgarian cities of Samokov, Kyustendil and Petrich. It will be the first time these cities have been supplied with Russian natural gas. Both sides also discussed the possible extension of the length of the contract.
Bulgargaz is the Bulgarian national gas transportation company and was created in 1974. The Bulgarian energy resources committee owns 100% of the company's shares and has a monopoly on providing natural gas to Bulgarian consumers and providing transportation services for Russian natural gas in the Balkans. On the basis of an inter-governmental long-term agreement signed in 1986 between the Soviet Union and Bulgaria, Russian natural gas is transported to Turkey, Greece and Macedonia through Bulgaria. By 2010, Bulgargaz must provide for the transit of up to 18.7 million cubic meters of gas per year.