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OMV Petrom is ready to develop Black Sea gas project once Romania government lifts regulatory barriers

BLACK SEA
OIL & GAS

OMV Petrom is ready to develop Black Sea gas project once Romania government lifts regulatory barriers

Romania’s OMV Petrom is ready to develop the Neptun deepwater block in the Black Sea with ExxonMobil once Bucharest lifts regulatory barriers to doing so, Reuters reports.

OMV Petrom’s Chief Executive Christina Verchere told Reuters in an emailed letter that “timely decisions” on this legislation will be important in removing barriers to investment and de-risking the project.

A final investment decision on tapping the Neptun deepwater block was stymied in 2018 by changes to offshore laws and new taxes that a former cabinet levied on the energy industry.

We’re prepared to start multi-billion-euro investments for Neptun Deep once all the barriers are removed.

Christina Verchere, OMV Petrom’s Chief Executive

The new centrist government led by Prime Minister Ludovic Orban has pledged to amend energy-related legislation and help unlock Black Sea gas projects to make Romania fully energy-resource independent and a key regional gas exporter.

Romania’s Black Sea hydrocarbon reserves could allow the country to challenge Russian energy giant Gazprom’s dominant role in supplying Central Europe and help import-dependent states in the region to diversify energy sources, Reuters noted.

State-owned Romgaz said last month it was considering buying a 15-20% stake in the Neptun project from Exxon. The field was estimated to hold 42 billion-84 billion cubic meters of gas.

To develop large-scale projects, investors need, firstly, an economically viable (framework for) the project with fiscal stability and predictability.

Christina Verchere, OMV Petrom’s Chief Executive

The government led by Ludovic Orban won parliament’s vote of confidence on November 4 after ousting a socialist-led cabinet in October.

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