Romania: In December new offshore hydrocarbon law to be submitted

, SEE Energy News

The Romanian Government will submit the new offshore hydrocarbon law to the Parliament in December, said State Secretary at the Romanian Ministry of Economy and Energy Dan Dragos Dragan.

He said that the Government wants to see the first natural gas deliveries from the Neptun Deep offshore field, the largest in the Romanian Black Sea, before 2025.

Government officials explained earlier that a new offshore hydrocarbon law, requested by the investors in order to adopt final investment decisions for their gas projects, would be unveiled before the elections scheduled for 6 December. Still, the draft law will be sent to Parliament for debate and approval only after the elections – when the Government expects to form a stable majority.

Cristina Pruna, a member of the Industry Committee within the Chamber of Deputies, said that the Parliament could pass the new offshore law before next March, but serious negotiations should be initiated immediately after the elections.

Out of the offshore natural gas projects in the Black Sea, the one operated by Black Sea Oil and Gas (BSOG) is the most advanced and could start production in the second half of next year. But the investor, which already started construction works before production, said that it expected the new offshore law before starting to pump gas into the pipelines. The other project, currently operated by ExxonMobil with OMV Petrom, is in limbo as the investors expect regulatory clarity. At the same time, ExxonMobil is looking to sell its stake, and the Romanian state is interested in buying it through state-owned gas producer Romgaz.