Mihail Mitroi: Gas storage should be the emergency plan of this energy strategy

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This is the transcript of the message delivered by Mihail Mitroi, Vicepresident at Prospecțiuni S.A., during the Energy Strategy Summit, held on June 4 at the Cantacuzino Palace in Bușteni.

It was a quite difficult year, with the decline in oil prices, but this is it, we accept any challenges. I represent here Prospecțiuni, a service provider in the field of exploration activities; we provide geophysical services to oil companies. The vast majority of our business is conducted in the field of onshore geophysical data acquisition services, data processing and data interpretation.

By tradition of our 60 years old, soon to be 65, company, we have a pretty good vision on exploration activities carried out in the past, but also in present Romania. Undoubtedly we say that we need a revival of exploration activity in the field. Now only 16% of sedimentary Romanian sediments, sediments with potential for oil and gas reserves, is being investigated by the method of three-dimensional imaging. The remaining 80% can bring pleasant surprises in terms of reserves.

What should we do to revitalize exploration activity in Romania? It is extremely important to shorten the period between organizing the auction for the concession and the commencement of exploration period. After that things are going relatively linear in defined time periods, with annual tasks, but this period is very long.

We signed contracts and our customers expect ratification of the agreements. It is not an easy process, but something must be done to nurture a predictability of the project in terms of time management. Money used in investment migrate to other zones since is not used here, when it exists.

Turning out attention to exploration phase, we have a well-developed legislation, a legislation that has sound principles. However, sometimes its execution leaves much room for improvement; the interpretation of legislation differs from authority to authority. I only raise the issue of access to agricultural land: the impact of seismic data acquisition is minimal, all domestic and international environmental organizations recognize this, and yet we have huge problems of access, virtually anyone can block our work, refusing to sign an agreement that should only establish a compensation amount for land access.

We think we should do something in this area, and in other areas of secondary legislation. I would like to raise one more issue. Any strategy needs specific plans in each area and also needs contingency plans. I believe that the problem of gas storage must be the emergency plan of this strategy, in the domain of provision of population with gas. I think we have a capacity still low, extremely low, of underground storage.

Thank you.

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