Shorter BRUA may hit supply diversity/Black Sea gas

By Annemarie Botzki 31 July 2017
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The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline in Greece. The changes to BRUA may see Romania seek to connect to TAP. (TAP) The Trans-Adriatic Pipeline in Greece. The changes to BRUA may see Romania seek to connect to TAP. (TAP)

Hungary’s proposed shortening of the Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Austria (BRUA) pipeline means the project is unlikely to help diversify regional gas supplies and could make it harder to monetise Black Sea gas. The Hungarian gas transmission system operator (TSO) FGSZ announced on 21 July that the pipeline may only extend as far west as Hungary because the Austrian section is not economically viable. 

Hungary’s location means the country plays a crucial role for the EU’s strategy to diversify its supplies and increase competition in the Central Eastern and Southeastern region of Europe. Cutting off the link to Western markets via Austria could jeopardise this goal and instead benefit Russian suppliers. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Budapest in February has already fuelled speculation that Hungary and Russia will further strengthen their energy ties.

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