Russia plans to start shipping some 3,000 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to Varna, Bulgaria via Georgia’s coastal city Poti, Reuters reported on July 12.
The Russian companies Gazprom and Surgutneftegaz supply the LPG from the city of Surgut, Russia where it will leave by rail to Poti and then via sea ferry to Bulgaria.
An industry source was cited as saying that the Poti port was considered “due to limited sales opportunities through other main export routes.”
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24 halted supplies to Romania, Hungary, and Moldova through Ukraine, Russia has been forced to look for new routes. Finland’s decision to cut purchases only exacerbated the situation for LPG exporters.
The costs of transferring the gas through Poti to Bulgaria “are about 50% higher than supplies to the EU via Ukraine” albeit still worth it for Russia since domestic LPG prices have decreased.