Romania: ExxonMobil wants to become natural gas supplier

ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Romania, the local branch of the American oil giant, which together with OMV Petrom owns the concession of the Neptun Deep offshore hydrocarbon perimeter in the Black Sea, has submitted an application to obtain a natural gas supplier licence with the National Energy Regulation Authority (ANRE), expected to make a decision on the matter this week, according to Profit.ro.

The licence would allow the company to supply gas to clients in Romania, through engross and retail operations and transactions, both in the regulated regime and on the competitive market, as well as to sign contracts with the national gas transport operator Transgaz and with distribution network and gas storage operators.

Last month, Transgaz successfully completed the procedure to test demand from potential buyers of natural gas that will be extracted from Neptun Deep. The total value of the transport capacity reserved by the buyers on a 15-year period (2021-2036) was 1,278 billion MWh, a little over the minimum threshold set by Transgaz to economically justify the investment in the Tuzla-Podisor pipeline project, which will take the extracted gas from the perimeter and introduce them into the national system.

This week, the Industries Commission of the Deputies Chamber will discuss the bill for offshore oil operations in the Black Sea in order to issue their final report on the matter, which would then allow the law to be passed in the Chamber and come into force after the president’s promulgation – it will be the last chance for the project to be voted on by the Chamber before the Parliamentary break that starts on July 1.

Without the law, which regulates vital fiscal and technical aspects related to oil operations in the Black sea, the concessionary operators would not be able to take the final investment decisions in Romanian offshore gas exploitation projects. The most advanced projects are those by the ExxonMobil-OMV Petrom consortium and by Black Sea Oil&Gas.

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