ANRM: Romania’s interest is for investments in Black Sea gas to start in 2022

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Romania’s interest is for the investment in the Neptune Deep perimeter in the Black Sea to start in 2022, otherwise the gas there will lose its value, said on Thursday Sorin Gal, director of the National Agency for Mineral Resources (ANRM).

Gal was asked what will happen if Black Sea investors do not decide to invest in the Neptune Deep project.

“We do not know whether or not the investment decision will be taken. We have an oil agreement amended by additional documents where there are sanctions for this fact. It is true that ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom came with a request during 2020 by which they were asking for an extension of the declaration of the commerciality of the deposit. For the time being, it is under our analysis and by March 2022 we will probably see what happens,” Gal said, quoted by Agerpres.

If the transaction through which Romgaz becomes the owner with 50% of the shares and the project operator is completed, the discussions will be held with Romgaz, otherwise they will continue with the current owners, he claimed.

Currently, ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom are equal partners in the deep-sea Neptun Deep project, where exploration has revealed deposits estimated at 42-84 billion cubic meters. For comparison, Romania produced 9.2 billion cubic meters last year.

“In the discussions with the two partners in the Neptun Deep project, I explained very clearly that the state is interested in starting this investment in 2022, because it will take another three years to extract a significant amount of gas, and Green Deal forces us to shorten these deadlines. If we extend by another three years, 2022-2025, then start producing by 2030, these gases may not be able to be fully extracted, because in 2035 their value will be very low and will not be economical,” the ANRM official stressed.

ExxonMobil has announced that it wants to withdraw from Romania, and Romgaz has submitted an offer to take over the participation of the American company. In their turn, OMV Petrom representatives announced that next year they will decide whether or not to invest in this project, but depending on the legislative changes.

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