Romania: Over-taxation of Romanian gas producers, huge discrimination in benefit of Gazprom (ROPEPCA)

The over-taxation applied to the Romanian gas producers for the profit obtained from the liberalization of the market represents a huge discrimination in benefit of the Russians from Gazprom, who are not obliged to pay these taxes or to sell on the stock exchange the entire amount of gas, Harald Kraft, the president of the Romanian Petroleum Exploration and Production Companies Association (ROPEPCA), said on Tuesday.

“The over-taxation was introduced in 2013 as a temporary measure for the time of the economic crisis. Now, in 2017, the tax has been increased (from 60 pct to 80 pct) and is in place for an indefinite period. It is a measure that penalizes the domestic producers against Gazprom. Moreover, Gazprom will not be forced to sell 100 percent of its imports on the stock market. This stands out as an unimaginable discrimination of the Romanian producers as compared to the foreign producers,” Kraft stated at a conference on the importance of natural gas, organized by Energy Policy Group.

As regards the authorities’ intention to eliminate the obligation for gas suppliers to make stocks for the winter, the ROPEPCA official showed that gas storage has become a loss-incurring operation in Romania.

“In Western countries, storage is voluntary, because it is profitable or at least will not result in a loss for those who have stored the gas. In Romania, it is quite the opposite. For example, last year, if you stored, you lost a lot of money. Everyone wants safety in supply, energy security, but nobody wants to pay for it,” he said, answering a question about his opinion on the storage obligation.

Also on Thursday, before this statement, the President of the National Regulatory Authority for Energy (ANRE), Niculae Havrilet, stated that gas suppliers may no longer be obliged to store for the future cold season, given that next winter, the price of imported gas will be lower than that of the stored gas.

According to Havrilet, it would be best to have a strategic stock and a free stock, in this respect, a legislative initiative already existing. He also said that next winter will be the first when imports will be cheaper than domestic stored gas.

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