September 21, 2018 / 11:24 AM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Transgaz offers to boost gas exports to end EU antitrust probe

(Adds details)

By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Romania’s gas pipeline operator Transgaz has offered to boost natural gas exports to Hungary and Bulgaria, EU antitrust regulators said on Friday, as the state-owned company seeks to stave off a fine.

The European Commission opened a probe last year on concerns Transgaz may be hindering gas exports to other European Union countries.

The Commission’s strategy to create a single energy market in the 28-country bloc hinges on allowing cross-border gas sales. It forced Russia’s Gazprom this year to amend its pricing structure and allow rivals a foothold in eastern Europe.

Transgaz’s proposal includes increasing export capacities from 0.1 billion cubic metres to 4 billion cubic metres per year to Hungary and Bulgaria, not discriminating between export and domestic tariffs and not hampering exports.

The EU enforcer said the offer would remain in force until the end of 2025. It said third parties have four weeks to provide feedback on Transgaz’s offer.

Romania is the third largest natural gas producer in the bloc, behind the Netherlands and Britain. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee Editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Edmund Blair)

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