Bulgaria’s state gas pipeline operator Bulgartransgaz has resumed gas deliveries to Greece via the Kulata–Sidirokastron interconnector after a halt of operations due to a rupture earlier this week.

Bulgartransgaz said gas started to flow across the border to Greece at 9:45am Eastern European time on Wednesday.

The pipeline operator has had to replace a segment of the interconnector about 200 metres from the Kulata gas pumping station that ruptured on Monday.

Gazprom Export — a subsidiary of Russian gas monopoly Gazprom — has welcomed the re-start of the interconnector, citing a message from Bulgartransgaz that the operator expects to fulfill prior capacity bookings in full.

The importance of the interconnector between Bulgaria and Greece has grown for Gazprom following the decline in demand for Russian gas in Turkey, forcing Gazprom to idle its first subsea export line across the Black Sea to the country — called Blue Stream — at the end of May.

The company also idled its second subsea export project to Turkey — the TurkStream pipeline — on 27 July, officially for maintenance work.

Seeing almost no demand for expensive Russian gas in Turkey, Gazprom currently can only deliver gas to Bulgaria, and from there to neighbouring Greece, Romania and Moldova, to avoid the possibility of TurkStream remaining idle after maintenance is completed.

The Russian gas giant expects export supply options for TurkStream to improve by the end of this year when Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary are due to commission a joint onshore pipeline.

This pipeline — known as Balkan Stream — will allow deliveries of Russian gas from Turkey to these countries and Austria.