Russian Energy Minister, Alexander Novak, has declared that Russia is ready to consider any mutually beneficial options for delivering gas to southeastern European countries – Greece and Italy – including through Bulgaria. He stated that the final decisions will depend to a great extent on the European Commission’s (EC) willingness to develop the appropriate infrastructure and routes in Europe, reported Sofia News Agency.
The minister was also quoted by Tass explaining that: “Nobody will lay a pipeline on the Black Sea bottom without having a guarantee that this infrastructure will be in demand.”
In related news, according to the BP’s 2016 Statistical Review of World Energy, it was reported that the gas consumption in the European Union (EU) has increased by 4.6% and reached 402.1 bcm in 2015. The EU accounted for 11.5% of the world’s total gas consumption in 2015, reported Trend News Agency. The report has further stated that Europe has imported a total of 401.4 bcm of gas via pipelines in 2015, with 159.8 bcm of this quantity having been imported from Russia.
Currently, one of the most important objectives of the EU energy policy is to further diversify the sources and routes of gas supplies. For this reason, the propositions made from the Russian side are expected to be highly appealing to the EU.