Romania: Romgaz and ExxonMobil signed exclusivity deal

, SEE Energy News

Romanian state-owned natural gas producer Romgaz said that it has signed an exclusivity agreement related to the negotiations for the acquisition of the 50 % stake that ExxonMobil holds in the Neptun Deep offshore project in the Black Sea.

According to the statement from the company, ExxonMobil is granting Romgaz an exclusivity right for a period of four months, namely until 15 October, to conduct negotiations on the possible acquisition.

In April, 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.

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.