• 4 minutes Tariffs to derail $83.7 Billion Chinese Investment in West Virginia
  • 9 minutes Battle for Oil Port: East Libya Forces In Full Control At Ras Lanuf
  • 17 minutes Kaplan Says Rising Oil Prices Won't Hurt US Economy
  • 1 day Tariffs to derail $83.7 Billion Chinese Investment in West Virginia
  • 4 hours Saudi Arabia turns to solar
  • 15 hours Kaplan Says Rising Oil Prices Won't Hurt US Economy
  • 9 hours Could oil demand collapse rapidly? Yup, sure could.
  • 4 hours Corruption On The Top: Netanyahu's Wife Charged With Misuse of Public Funds for Meals
  • 5 hours Battle for Oil Port: East Libya Forces In Full Control At Ras Lanuf
  • 6 hours Russia's Energy Minister says Oil Prices Balanced at $75, so Wants to Increase OPEC + Russia Oil by 1.5 mbpd
  • 9 hours Gazprom Exports to EU Hit Record
  • 6 hours U.S. Withdraws From U.N. Human Rights Council
  • 10 hours OPEC Meeting Could End Without Decision - Irony Note Added from OPEC Children's Book
  • 14 hours China’s Plastic Waste Ban Will Leave 111 Million Tons of Trash With Nowhere To Go
  • 8 hours What If Canada Had Wind and Not Oilsands?
  • 8 hours "The Gasoline Car Is a Car With a Future"
  • 3 hours EU Confirms Trade Retaliation Measures vs. U.S. To Take Effect on June 22
  • 20 hours EVs Could Help Coal Demand
  • 9 hours Sell out now or hold on?
3 Possible Outcomes From The OPEC Meeting

3 Possible Outcomes From The OPEC Meeting

With the OPEC meeting nearing,…

The Bullish And Bearish Case For Oil

The Bullish And Bearish Case For Oil

All eyes in the oil…

South Stream Pipeline Threatens EU Unity On Russia

Bulgaria is accusing its fellow EU nations of placing Sofia uncomfortably in the middle of a dispute between Europe and Russia over the unrest in Ukraine. The situation also is threatening the stability of the Bulgarian government.

The European Commission has directed Bulgaria to suspend work on the South Stream Pipeline, a conduit through Bulgaria for supplying Russian gas to Europe that bypasses Ukraine.

The EC withdrew its approval of South Stream construction in March after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula. It also says the pipeline violates EC rules against gas suppliers controlling pipeline access.

Despite this, Bulgaria decided to continue work on the pipeline, which is being built by Russia’s state-owned gas company, Gazprom. Bulgaria, the EU’s poorest member, depends on Russian gas and hopes to stockpile it. Russia wants South Stream to ensure uninterrupted income from EU customers.

“This is a priority infrastructure project and I hope the European Commission will find more solidarity in its future relations,” said Dragomir Stoynev, the economy and energy minister of Bulgaria. “The point is to avoid South Stream being used as a hostage of future relations and of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.”

In Sofia, the liberal Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) Party, a junior partner in the government, said Bulgaria should comply with the EC’s call. Party leader Lyutvi Mestan told parliament that defying Brussels would be dangerous, and said the government should press its national interest “in cooperation, not in confrontation” with Europe.

Related Article: Russia Extends Ukraine’s Gas Payment Deadline, Easing Tensions For Now

Mestan said the dispute demonstrates that the current government, elected in May of last year, has failed in its mandate. He called for early elections to be held in late November or early December.

Dimitar Dabov, a leader of the ruling Socialist Party, dismissed Mestan’s demands and said the pipeline will proceed as planned.

But Slavtcho Neykov, formerly head of Bulgaria’s EU integration for the country’s economy and energy ministry, said that to continue building the pipeline would be a “disaster.”

“Russia is Bulgaria’s main partner for energy, and the South Stream is a good option for us,” Neykov told Bloomberg News. “But first and foremost, we’re an EU member, and we shouldn’t forget that.”

By Andy Tully of Oilprice.com



Join the discussion | Back to homepage

Leave a comment
  • Arkady on June 09 2014 said:
    I think it is wise from Bulgarian side to stop the
    South Stream construction! For sure, the U.S. LNG exporters
    will supply much more cheaper gas to Bulgarian economy with great desire!

Leave a comment

Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News