Next month, the Romanian transmission operator, Transgaz, will hold the capacity auction for the natural gas transit pipeline Isaccea 1 - Negru Voda 1, following the expiration of the contract with Russia’s Gazprom. The eagerly awaited auction marks the opening up of the regional gas markets and offers an alternative to Russian gas. The pipeline ensures gas flow to Turkey and Southern Europe via Romania and Bulgaria.

At the end of July 2016, Transgaz signed two interconnection agreements with Bulgaria and Ukraine aiming to provide the transportation capacity and the reverse flow from Ukraine to Bulgaria. According to the 2016 auction calendar published on the Transgaz website, the standard annual capacity products auction will be held on the regional capacity platform on 5 September for the firm capacity and on 8 September for the interruptible capacity. Also, 169 GWh/day of annual unbundled firm and interruptible capacity will be offered at the interconnection point between Romania and Bulgaria.

Cooperation with the grid operators will be needed in order to ensure efficient flow of natural gas along the Romanian territory, mainly by jointly holding auctions for the capacity offered in the main interconnection points.