Azerbaijani energy minister Natig Aliyev said on February 22, 2017, that Bulgaria will be able to import gas from the Shah Deniz field through the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB), which will link to the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), in 2020.
During a meeting with his Bulgarian counterpart Nikolay Pavlov, Aliyev also said that 1bn m3/yr of Shah Deniz gas can be supplied to Bulgaria and construction of Bulgaria-Serbia gas grid interconnector, expected to be commenced by May 2019 can transport Azerbaijani gas to the wider area.
Montenegro and Croatia by 2020 should also be able in a position to receive some Shah Deniz gas by around 2020 as well as Bulgaria, added Aliyev. The final capacity of the IGB is 3bn m3/yr.
Previously, Azerbaijan's president Ilham Aliyev had said during Munich Security Conference, held February 17-19, that currently SGC can access 7 countries, but the number can reach 10 soon.
According to Bulgaria’s energy ministry, Azerbaijani state-run oil company Socar is among the bidders for IGB capacity.
Bulgaria plans to receive gas from Shah Deniz 2 project in the Caspian from 2020, when exports to Europe start.
The SGC project is aimed to transit 16bn m3/yr of Shah Deniz 2 gas to Turkey (6bn m3/yr) and Europe initially.
However the final capacity of the project is 2 times more than that. It passes through Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Greece, Albania and Italy.
When BP announced firm gas sales agreements for Shah Deniz gas in 2013, Bulgargaz was a buyer for around 1bn m3/yr once supplies begin.