Romania, Romgaz acquired 50 % stake in Neptun Deep perimeter

, SEE Energy News

Romanian natural gas producer Romgaz has signed the contract for the acquisition of ExxonMobil’s 50 % stake in the Black Sea Neptun Deep perimeter for 1.06 billion dollars.

According to ExxonMobil’s Romanian subsidiary, the acquisition is expected to close by the end of the second quarter, with its employees being transferred as part of the sale. ExxonMobil continues to evaluate its portfolio of opportunities, focusing our investments in advantaged assets with a low cost of supply. The company’s investments to date have positioned the Neptun Deep project for future success with potential to help increase resource production within Romania and the European Union.

Romanian Prime Minister Niculae Ciuca said that, together with Romgaz and OMV Petrom, Romania will meet its goal to provide the necessary gas for domestic consumption, and, provided that there will be sufficiently large quantities, to provide gas for neighboring countries, both in the region and in the European Union.

ExxonMobil announced in November 2019 its intention to sell the stake in the Neptun Deep project, which holds the largest offshore gas reserves found in Romania’s Black Sea section (40 to 80 billion cubic meters). Romanian OMV Petrom, a part of Austrian OMV Group, holds the remaining 50 % in the project. The two operators have invested close to 1.5 billion dollars in exploring the perimeter but have postponed a decision on its commercial exploitation due to the new offshore law adopted in late 2018.

In April 2021, Romgaz has confirmed that it submitted a binding offer to the US company ExxonMobil for the acquisition of a 100 % capital of its local subsidiary ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Romania. Through this company, ExxonMobil holds a 50 % stake in the Neptun Deep offshore gas field in the Romanian Black Sea. Romgaz has the Government’s backing for this acquisition, as it wants to start the extraction of natural gas from the Black Sea as part of the country’s strategy to transition to less-polluting energy sources and the closure of coal-fired power plants. The company holding the other 50 % stake – OMV Petrom will remain the operator of the project.

OMV Petrom, which holds the remaining 50 % stake, said last month that the final investment decision for the project will be made in 2023, following the amending of the Offshore Law, while the first gas is expected in 2027.