Gheorghe Duțu: We work with major oil and gas operators to improve the legislative framework

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This is the transcript of the message delivered by Gheorghe Duţu, President of the National Agency for Mineral Resources (NAMR), during the Energy Strategy Summit, held on June 4 at the Cantacuzino Palace in Bușteni.

Thank you for the invitation and for the scenery which you have provided for the proper conduct of this activity. Any energy strategy is based on the resource potential at its disposal. Currently, the National Agency for Mineral Resources tracks a number of 166 solid substances distributed in the following groups: salts, useful metal minerals, rocks, bituminous rocks, coal, iron and nonferrous ore.

Of course we have great potential in mineral waters, therapeutic waters and ultimately in hydrocarbons: oil and gas. In an attempt to perform the full exploitation of resources potential and to develop the mining industry in a sustainable manner, as the competent authority we actively collaborate with all stakeholders to improve the content in terms of economic, environmental and social performances, and an appropriate legislative framework.

In this context it is vital to address the following issues: strengthening policies on mineral resources, strengthening institutional capacities of authorities in the field and updating the legislative framework to develop, the identification of procedures for development and promotion, generated by the entire chain of activities in the field of resources, reducing environmental impact and supporting appropriate research activities. Romania is among the top five EU countries in terms of resource potential. It is characterized in particular by a diversification on both levels, mining and petroleum.

I would make several references related to the mining sector. Currently the national coal reserves are contained in 299 deposits. The operation of such solid carriers of energy has a number of advantages and disadvantages: it has an essential contribution to national energy security in a crisis situation, with a degree of insurance for 100 years, plus the geographical proximity to the beneficiary. We have also some weak points, being deposits that have been exploited for a long time: complicated tectonic operating depths, we have a high content of explosive gases, and mechanization is low.

In the hydrocarbon sector, Romania has the largest reserves of natural gas in Central and Eastern Europe, with an estimation of about 150 billion cubic meters and with geological reserves of about 600 billion cubic meters. Romania currently consumes about 13 billion cubic meters, mostly from domestic production of about 11 billion cubic meters. Also, Romania has proved reserves of crude oil of 600 million tons, and geological resources of about 2 billion tons.

Important to note, most of geological resources and secured reserves identified so far are offshore, onshore area only comprise 4-5% of them. From the current concerns of the Agency, we have a good cooperation and Mihnea (Mihnea Constantinescu – e.n) pointed well with major operators and associations of operators in the oil and gas industry for upgrading the legislative framework to make it more permissive. At the same time, we work together with the Ministry of Finance on the new package for royalties, based on the principle that we must ensure a balance between attractiveness and adequate income to the state.

Thank you.

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