The obligation of gas producers, imposed by law, to sell on the stock exchange certain quantities, at certain prices, through the gas release program, which enters into force on July 1, contradicts the idea of free market, said the representatives of the two major gas producers from Romania, OMV Petrom and Romgaz, present on Thursday at the webinar ”Black Sea in the New Economy”, organized by Sustainable Romania and EM360.
“This gas release and the trading obligation make the market not to be free and this is certainly not positive for investors. Moreover, increasing from 30% to 40% (the share of production to be traded on the stock exchange) is certainly negative from the perspective of investors who are based on a free market, as it is promoted at European level,” said Alina Popa, the financial director of OMV Petrom, according to Agerpres.
She mentioned that the existence of a free market is an essential element for unlocking investments in Black Sea gas projects.
The idea was also shared by Vasile Ciolpan, the commercial director of Romgaz, who stated that, as long as there are certain obligations for companies, that market is no longer free.
“The most important thing about these percentages is not their size, but the correctness with which they are thought. Simply put, the term ‘mandatory’ distorts the freedom to conclude contracts, it is what bothers us. Once you are obliged, you are deprived of certain quantities to realize contracts that cannot be concluded on the stock exchange, such as the long-term contracts that the Black Sea investors are trying to negotiate, which have a different specific, a different structure,” Ciolpan claimed.
In addition, not all companies have access to the stock market, he said.
“The market must be left free. When you set certain pillars in the contract, such as price, quantity, the market is no longer free. Through such obligations: imposed price, set quantity, set period, all three pillars of the contract are set, so we can no longer talk about a free market. We must let demand and supply work,” the Romgaz representative added.