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Land area (sq kms)
Oil prod (000s b/d)
Gas prod (bcm/yr)
Oil cons (000s b/d)
Gas cons (bcm/yr)
Thracians arrived in Bulgaria in 1000 BC, Persians followed in 600 BC, and the region was later ruled by Greeks and then Romans from 46 AD as part of the Byzantine Empire. From 600 AD Slavs began to settle and Bulgar tribes arrived from the north. In 681 the 1st Bulgarian Empire was established, dominating the Balkans. After a brief return to Byzantine rule a 2nd Bulgarian Empire took over in 1185. By the 14th century factional divisions caused this to split and the Ottomans conquered most of the region, ruling for nearly 500 years despite several Bulgarian revolts. In 1878 Russia defeated the Turks and a Bulgarian principality took power in the north, re-incorporating the south in 1885, and proclaiming independence in 1908.
Bulgaria aligned with Germany in World Wars 1 and 2 until 1944 when it was invaded by the USSR and a communist republic was established. Rapid industrialisation followed with communist rule ending in 1989. Bulgaria then embarked on a transition to a market-based economy, now dominated by heavy industry and agriculture.
Bulgaria has 3 topographic regions; the Danubian plain; the Balkans and Rhodope Mountains; and the Thracian plain.
In the north is the Danubian Plain south of the Danube which defines the border with Romania. The southern edge of the Danubian Plain slopes upward into the foothills of the Balkans Mountains which run through the middle of the country. The highest point is Musala at 2,925m.
The Thracian Plain begins southeast of Sofia and broadens as it reaches the Black Sea coast. The mountainous southwest of the country has two alpine ranges which border the Rhodope Mountains to the east.
Bulgaria has few oil and gas prospects and only minor onshore oil, condensate and gas production from several complex fields in the north. Output began in 1954 from the Moesian Platform under the Danubian plain. Some additional gas potential has been identified which should lead to a small resurgence in gas production in coming years as new infrastructure is installed.
Offshore in the Black Sea the Galata gas field came onstream in 2004 but was abandoned in 2009 for storage. Two new gas fields were developed in 2010. There may also be gas potential adjacent to the offshore Romanian border in deep waters however, Globalshift expects new production only in the medium term.
Besides small volumes of NGLs, there is no oil production offshore. Most electricity is obtained from nuclear power and renewables.
BULGARIA - Map and National Flag
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Population: 7.6 million
Bulgaria is a parliamentary democracy. The president is head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces and the prime minister is head of government.
Parliament, comprising a 240-member National Assembly is elected to a 4-year term by popular vote. It can override the presidential veto by a simple majority vote.
The Ministry of Economy and Energy oversees the oil and gas industry. Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD is the state-owned energy holding company incorporated in 2008. Bulgargaz is the largest Bulgarian natural gas distribution company and is a subsidiary of Bulgarian Energy Holding EAD.