Eustream, Transgaz Continue Eastring Project
Romanian transmission system operator (TSO) Transgaz and its Slovak counterpart Eustream agreed in principle to co-operate on the proposed Eastring pipeline project on their respective territories, they said February 9.
The line will carry gas to or from the borders of Bulgaria and non-EU member states – notably Turkey, Serbia and the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia -- all Balkan neighbours of the EU.
Eustream has also signed an agreement with the Bulgarian TSO Bulgartransgaz and with Hungarian government representatives.
Eastring will offer direct transmission route between the liquid hubs of western Europe and the Balkan region/Turkey – an area with a potential to be a highly liquid region offering gas from various sources, Eustream said. In October 2017, Slovakia and Hungary signed a memorandum of understanding to develop Eastring.
At the beginning of 2017, the European Commission approved the financial support for the Eastring project, funding the feasibility study under the Connecting Europe Facility, which is to be completed in June 2018. It will define all necessary technical, economical, financial and environmental details of the future pipeline including optimal routing as well as to carry on the in-depth market testing.
At that point, shippers will have to decide whether Eastring is the best bet for bringing gas into Europe, or the Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Austria (Brua) line, which is much smaller but could be needed to deliver gas from Romania's Black Sea, where large gas reserves have been found and are awaiting final investment decisions.
Six months ago, Rainer Seele, the CEO of OMV, a key prospective investor in Black Sea offshore gas, said any Hungarian refusal to build its section of the Brua pipeline could impact on whether OMV and ExxonMobil will develop their deepwater Black Sea reserves.