Declaring potential discoveries as "one of the main factors for the energy security of the country", the Bulgarian government has pledged renewed support for oil and gas exploration through its draft "Sustainable Energy Strategy to 2030 with a Horizon of 2050".
Under this strategy, Bulgaria analyses the current state of play in the energy sector with current production covering just 1% of the needs of the country and current discoveries unable to provide for the nation's energy security.
While the study generally avoids naming the exploration blocks of prime focus, the draft strategy specifically cites the offshore Han Asparuh block (acquired by Total and OMV Petrom) and Han Kubrat block (Shell, Woodside and Repsol) as ones of specific importance in the coming years.
Despite this focus on local production, Bulgaria plans to continue importing natural gas from its current level of 30,000 GWh in 2020 to 39,000 GWh in 2050. As a result, Bulgaria's natural gas strategy includes establishing interconnectors with neighbouring countries and liberalising its natural gas market.
Between 2020 and 2050, Bulgaria plans to triple natural gas production from the current level of 1500 GWh to 4500 GWh in 2050, which appears to be a modest increase given recent gas discoveries by Romania and Turkey in the Black Sea.