Bulgaria Country Facts

Quick Facts about Bulgaria

  • Member of the European Union.
  • Democratic government operating under a parliamentary system.
  • Capital is Sofia.
  • Population is 7+ million people.
  • The country’s population is primarily Bulgarian (about 84%) with a variety of others ethnicities comprising the balance (Turk, Roma and others).
  • Dominant religion is Bulgarian Orthodox.
  • The principal language is Bulgarian (a southern Slavic language) that uses the Cyrillic alphabet. English is widespread.

Energy Market Facts about Bulgaria

  • High capacity pipeline northwest of license.
  • High gas prices.
  • Frack ban currently in place.
  • 95%+ of all gas imported.
  • Natural gas prices of greater than US$10 per MCF (approximately three times the price of gas in North America).

Market for Natural Gas in Bulgaria

Prices for natural gas in Bulgaria are among the highest in Europe. Bulgaria imports over 95% of its natural gas at prices approximately 300% the market prices in North America. Russia, a dominant supplier of natural gas for both Europe and Asia, has been the primary supplier of natural gas to Bulgaria since 1974. Recent data indicates Gazprom supplies Bulgaria with between 2.5 and 3.0 billion cubic meters (88-106 Bcf) of natural gas per year.

The high cost of natural gas in Bulgaria and Europe is one of the main motivators for the exploration for natural gas in the region. Natural gas prices have ranged between 250% – 300% higher than North America for natural gas due to lack of domestic supply and the high cost of pipeline transported gas from Russia.

Excellent pipeline facilities and access

The Vranino 1-11 Block is in close proximity to established pipelines – about 15 kilometers – to the Bulgartransgaz pipeline system, which transports gas from Russia to Europe. This easy pipeline access presents an economic advantage in developing the gas resources of the Drobrudja Basin.

Since more than 95% of all natural gas consumed in Bulgaria is imported, the potential for domestic production to help meet Bulgaria’s energy needs is supported and promoted by the Bulgarian Government.

The Bulgarian Parliament banned the use of the technique commonly known as “fracking” in 2012 and, as a consequence, development of potential shale gas resources within Bulgaria is not permitted. However, the fracking ban will not impede the production of natural gas through the exploitation of coal seams using horizontal technology.