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Romania’s Govt. eyes Exxon’s 50% stake in Neptun Deep offshore block

BLACK SEA
OIL & GAS

Romania’s Govt. eyes Exxon’s 50% stake in Neptun Deep offshore block

Romanian state-controlled gas producer Romgaz plans to purchase from US group ExxonMobile the 50% stake in the Neptun Deep offshore gas perimeter, according to a plan sketched by the Government and confirmed by the minister of economy and energy Virgil Popescu. Source: Romania-Insider

Polish state-controlled oil and gas company PGNiG has pulled out of the project, Popescu said, Economica.net reported.

ExxonMobil holds 50% of Neptun Deep (with OMV Petrom holding the other 50% stake) and is also the perimeter's primary operator. Thus, replacing ExxonMobil in this project will require not only a financial investment but also technological expertise.

However, Minister Popescu estimates on a very optimistic note that the first gas deliveries from Neptun Deep could take place in 2025.

The investment decision will be made next year, and I am very optimistic [about a positive decision]. It takes another three years, I think, to prepare the gas extraction from the Black Sea.

Virgil Popescu, Minister of Economy and Energy

Under the Government's scenario, Romgaz must first pay ExxonMobil's 50% stake in the project, then invest, together with OMV Petrom, another EUR 3 billion to start extracting gas from the perimeter. The exploration works have already cost USD 1.5 bln.

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