May 31, 2019 / 9:54 AM / 16 days ago

Bulgaria in first U.S. gas deals buys two LNG cargoes

SOFIA, May 31 (Reuters) - Bulgaria has agreed to buy U.S. natural gas for the first time, signing a deal for a delivery in the second quarter and another in the third, the country's energy minister said on Friday.

Dutch-registered trader Kolmar NL will deliver a 90 million cubic metre (mcm) cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and a second of 50 mcm.

"The ship carrying LNG from the United States has arrived at the Greek Revithoussa LNG terminal," Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova said. "This is yet another step towards liberalisation of the gas market and a clear sign of diversification."

The first LNG shipment is from U.S. producer Cheniere and the second one from the U.S. unit of British Petroleum, she said.

Sofia at present buys almost all of its gas from Russia via one route.

It pledged to diversify after a 2009 dispute with Moscow disrupted winter supplies.

It is set to begin receiving mainly Azeri gas via a 182 km interconnector link with Greece expected to be ready by the end of 2020 with an initial annual capacity of three billion cubic metres. (Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; editing by Jason Neely)

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