The Black Sea in the new economy – the last train to energy independence

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Bogdan Tudorache

Romania is facing a maturity exam. In the waters of the Black Sea there is a rich resource of natural gas that will ensure our energy independence for many years from now, but also the economic development we need, say analysts and managers present at a conference organized by EM360. Unfortunately, the current of opinion started from a small group with obscure interests that we better not extract these resources has expanded.

“If Romania takes the right steps that it has been slow to take so far, it is an unprecedented opportunity. We don’t have much time left, and not necessarily because of the Green Deal, but also because the interests of our neighbors are not always aligned with ours”, said Adrian Măniuțiu, EM360 entrepreneur.

“We live with the hope that things will return to normal, that we will find together – politicians, industry, regulators – a balance that will give a chance to a huge opportunity for our whole country”, says Vasile Ciolpan, Director of Energy Marketing, Romgaz, referring to the natural gas in the Black Sea.

The oil and natural gas industry has always been one of Romania’s economic engines. Unlocking exploitation means huge benefits for the country. If natural gas resources in the Black Sea remain in the ground, imports could reach 40% by 2030, according to Transgaz estimates, said Alina Popa, member of OMV Petrom’s Board of Directors.

Projections for natural gas consumption in the EU show a sharp drop in demand for this fuel after 2030 as we move towards 2050 climate neutrality targets, said Christian Egenhofer, Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Energy, Resources and Climate Change within the Center for European Political Studies (CEPS), a Brussels-based think tank.

“It is necessary for the representatives of the political class to sit at the same table and understand that the problem of the Black Sea, the energy problem of Romania is a common problem. It is exclusively up to us whether in the coming decades we will continue to import natural gas from the East.”

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