The Russian company Gazprom sells natural gas directly to end customers in Greece since December 2017. The first deliveries went through Sidirokastro-Kulata, that is, across the territory of Bulgaria, and were made for Mytilineos Group.
The direct deliveries significantly alter the domestic gas market situation in Greece. Removing third-party supply restrictions increases competition between players, and conditions for users can be better.
The opening of the gas market is in line with the European rules and was made at the request of the creditors of Greece.
The Russian gas flows to Greece is expanding during the last years. In 2016 Gazprom had exported 2.68 billion cubic meters of gas to Greece (a 35% increase versus 2015).
The wholesale gas market is monopolized by the state-owned DEPA, which imports gas from Gazprom, as well as Sonatrach, which deals with liquefied gas, and Botas, which deals with gas imports from Azerbaijan.
DEPA’s exclusive right in Greece to procure gas from Gazprom was abolished for the first time upon the revision of their contract in 2014. In the same year the Competition Commission forced DEPA to concede capacity to third parties at three points of entry to the national gas grid. This has paved the way for the transmission of gas through Sidirokastro, where the Russian gas arrives, and through Kipoi, where Botas makes Azeri deliveries.