French oil group Total and Israeli Delek Group are two of the investors reportedly interested in purchasing the whole 50% stake held by US group ExxonMobil in the offshore natural gas project Neptun Deep in Romania’s Black Sea.
ExxonMobil confirmed at the end of November that it was testing the market to sell either its subsidiary in Romania or its 50% stake in Neptun Deep but said at that time that it didn’t have a buyer.
Negotiations are held in the United States, Profit.ro informed quoting unofficial sources. Total is the company that sold to Exxon the 50% stake in Neptun Deep perimeter, in 2008, which it now wants to buy back. Israeli Delek Group is the main shareholder of the Leviathan project, in which Exxon is also involved.
The Romanian state concluded the initial agreement on the exploration of the Neptun Deep perimeter with the French company Elf Aquitaine (later transformed into Total) and Petrom, wholly owned by the Romanian state at that time. Later, in 2008, the French group sold its stake to ExxonMobil.In 2012, Exxon and OMV Petrom announced a large gas discovery in the Neptun Deep perimeter. The two groups have invested over USD 1.5 billion in the perimeter’s exploration so far. However, they postponed the decision to invest in developing the project commercially after Romania’s Parliament adopted a new offshore law and the former Government increased taxation for energy companies.