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Bulgaria flag
Summary | Profile

Country profile: Bulgaria

Location: Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey
Climate: temperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers
Terrain: mostly mountains with lowlands in north and southeast
Size: 110910 sq. km total (Land area: 110550 sq. km  Water area: 360
Population: 7,262,675 (July 2008 est.)
Languages: Bulgarian 84.5%, Turkish 9.6%, Roma 4.1%, other and unspecified 1.8% (2001 census)
Government: parliamentary democracy
Capital city: Sofia
Legal system: civil and criminal law based on Roman law; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations
Currency: lev (BGL)

Country profile

The Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe, merged with the local Slavic inhabitants in the late 7th century to form the first Bulgarian state. In succeeding centuries, Bulgaria struggled with the Byzantine Empire to assert its place in the Balkans, but by the end of the 14th century the country was overrun by the Ottoman Turks. Northern Bulgaria attained autonomy in 1878 and all of Bulgaria became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. Having fought on the losing side in both World Wars, Bulgaria fell within the Soviet sphere of influence and became a People's Republic in 1946. Communist domination ended in 1990, when Bulgaria held its first multiparty election since World War II and began the contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption, and crime. The country joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.

The countries of Southeastern Europe - Romania, Bulgaria, and Moldova-- have had problems transitioning from centrally planned economies to market-based economies. Both Bulgaria and Romania were significantly affected by the economic embargo placed on Yugoslavia in the 1990s, suffering billions of dollars in GDP losses due to disrupted trade, transport, and investment. While Moldova was less affected economically by the wars in the former Yugoslavia, its own civil war began soon after its independence, paralysing the country's already stagnant economy. Armed conflict has subsided, but Russian settlers and Moldova’s on the left bank of the Dints River still maintain the secessionist Transdnistrian Republic, created when the fighting reached a stalemate.
Both Romania and Bulgaria joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in March 2004 and aspire to membership in the European Union (EU). Romania concluded energy negotiations necessary for EU membership in June 2004, and in October 2004, the European Commission (EC) designated Romania a “functioning market economy,” another prerequisite for EU membership. In February 2005, Bulgaria announced that its energy sector was 66 percent privatized in accordance with EU directives. Both Romania and Bulgaria are working with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to bolster their economies, showing solid real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rates in 2005 of 4.1 percent in Romania and 5.5 percent in Bulgaria. Unlike Romania and Bulgaria, Moldova is not currently being offered EU membership and has only received an Action Plan within the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Implementation of the EU-Moldova Plan will require a modernization of the economy and a more welcoming environment for investment and business. Since privatization was initiated in 2000, Moldova’s GDP has continued to increase, with GDP growth of 7.1 percent in 2005. Despite the rapid growth of recent years, Moldova remains one of the poorest countries in Europe.


Energy production and consumption

Oil Gas
Production: 3,661 bbl/day (2005 est.) 407,000 cu m (2005 est.)
Consumption: 108,000 bbl/day (2005 est.) 5 cu m (2005 est.)
Exports: 51,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)  cu m (2005 est.)
Imports: 138,800 bbl/day (2004 est.) 5 cu m (2005 est.)
Reserves: 15 million bbl (1 January 2006 est.) 5 billion cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Major fields:

Bulgaria - recent news

01 May 22
Bulgaria: Trillion Energy to accelerate Bulgaria natural gas project
Trillion Energy International has provided an update on the 98,000-acre Vranino 1-11 natural gas exploration license block in the Dobrudja basin, Bulgaria and changes in the energy environment in Bulgaria.
01 Sep 20
Bulgaria: OMV Petrom completes deal to acquire interest in Total's Han-Asparuh exploration block, offshore Bulgaria
OMV Petrom has completed the transaction for the acquisition of 100% of the shares in OMV Offshore Bulgaria from OMV Exploration & Production and enters the Han-Asparuh exploration block, offshore Bulgaria. Following Repsol’s exit, the Bulgarian regulator approved the allocation of Repsol’s 30% participating interest to the remaining two partners.
14 Jun 20
Bulgaria: Repsol transfers its interest in Black Sea 1-21 Khan Asparuh block to OMV and Total
The Bulgarian government is reported to have granted Repsol permission to transfer its 30% interest in the deepwater 1-21 Khan Asparuh block, in the Black Sea, to its partners in the block, Total and OMV.
02 Mar 20
Bulgaria: Shearwater GeoServices awarded Bulgaria Black Sea 3D survey by Total
Shearwater GeoServices has announced the award of a large towed streamer 3D acquisition and Fast Track processing project in the Black Sea by Total E&P Bulgaria. The survey covers 5,500 sq km in the Han Asparuh block 1-21.
18 Jul 19
Bulgaria: Shell's Black Sea well Khan Kubrat-1 disappoints
JV partner Woodside reports that Shell's Khan Kubrat-1 exploration well in the 1-14 Khan Kubrat block in the Black Sea has been plugged and abandoned after encountering non-commercial hydrocarbon shows in target reservoirs.

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