Romania, Senate approved amendments to the Offshore Law

, SEE Energy News

Romania’s Senate said that it has approved the amendments to the Offshore Law, which are expected to enable investments in offshore oil and gas projects in the Black Sea.

The amendments stipulate that the Romanian state will have preemption rights and will receive around 60 % of the income generated by offshore gas projects. The remaining 40 % of the income will go to investors. The draft bill also states the taxation regime will not change for the duration of offshore gas projects and introduces a smaller tax on gas sales. Also, it removes export restrictions for natural gas, except in emergency situations.

Minister of Energy Virgil Popescu said that the new law will ensure Romania’s independence and energy security and, at the same time, the proposed amendments will stimulate the development of small and medium enterprises involved in the offshore sector, of related industries, as well as of those positively affected by the indirect and induced economic impact generated by offshore projects.

The amended law is now pending a final vote in the Parliament’s lower house, the Chamber of Deputies.

The existing Offshore Law, adopted in 2018, stipulated that half of the natural gas obtained from the offshore perimeters in the Black Sea will have to be sold on the domestic market, and enforced a progressive tax on additional revenues from offshore activities.

Two major investments are awaiting the revised law: Black Sea Oil & Gas (BSOG) which could start gas production at its Midia gas project in the second half of the year, and OMV Petrom and Romgaz consortium at Neptun Deep project, with final investment decision expected in early 2023.