» OMV Petrom will give green light to an investment of 1 billion euros for Black Sea gas
5:54 PM <14px style="font-size: 14pt;">OMV Petrom will give green light to an investment of 1 billion euros for Black Sea gas14px>
By Jerom Bolt
The Austrian OMV Group is confident that in the coming months Romania will develop an acceptable regulatory framework for its Black Sea natural gas exploration project; the company will soon be able to give green light for an investment worth one billion euros, said OMV's head of operations for upstream operations, Johann Pleininger, in an interview with Reuters. In Black Sea Territorial Waters, ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom explore the Neptun block together, where the first estimates show the existence of gas fields ranging from 42 to 84 billion cubic meters. OMV needs a serious tax and royalty framework before giving final approval for such a major investment, Johann Pleininger said. "It would be an investment of one billion euros," Pleininger said. He also said that OMV also needs a guarantee that it will be able to export the surplus gas. Unlike other countries in the region, Romania is very little dependent on energy imports.
Less than 10% of Romania's natural gas needs are imported from Russia, and the rest is produced locally, mainly by Romgaz and Petrom. "I trust that the Romanian Government will make a reasonable proposal that will be accepted by the industry," Johann Pleininger said, adding that he expects a decision this autumn. OMV's investment decision is expected "either this year or the first quarter of the next year," said Johann Pleininger.
The Austrian OMV Group is the majority shareholder of Petrom, with a 51.01% stake, and the Ministry of Energy holds 20.64% of OMV Petrom shares. Petrom is the largest Romanian oil and gas company with activities in Upstream, Downstream Oil, Downstream Gas and Gas. In July, Parliament adopted the Offshore Law, which sets out some measures necessary for the implementation of petroleum exploration, development, oil exploration, abandonment and oil exploration operations carried out by oil tanker owners on offshore oil perimeters. The amendments to the Offshore Law project meant that Romania would no longer be energetically dependent on Russia.
The National Agency for Mineral Resources (ANRM) announced that the Black Sea gas reserves amount to 200 billion cubic meters in perimeters where drilling took place, which would mean the total output of the country to double for 20 years . ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom have invested about $ 2 billion in the Neptune perimeter so far, Romgaz and Lukoil - over $ 500 million in the Trident perimeter, and Black Sea Oil and Gas - $ 200 million in the Midia and Pelican perimeters.
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