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Romania natural gas output set to double

Staff Writer |
Romania could almost double its natural gas production to about 20 billion cubic metres a year by 2025, helped by new offshore discoveries in the Black Sea, the head of the National Agency for Mineral Resources (ANRM), Sorin Gal, said.

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Unlike other countries in the region, Romania is almost entirely energy independent. The European Union state imports less than 10 percent of its gas needs from Russia, with the rest produced locally, largely by state producer Romgaz and OMV Petrom, controlled by Austria’s OMV.

“We produce 10-11 billion cubic metres and consume about as much,” Gal told an energy seminar. “Production will rise to 18-20 billion cubic metres by 2025. Gas producers are looking for markets and buyers.”

Gal also said he had information that neighbouring Ukraine could privatise its national gas transport network within 18 months, with U.S. investors showing interest, adding that Romanian producers could find a new market there.

Two companies could be producing natural gas offshore in Romanian Black Sea waters by 2021, he said.

Black Sea Oil & Gas, controlled by private equity firm Carlyle Group LP, has almost finalised its project and could start producing roughly 1 billion cubic metres of gas per year by the start of 2020 at the latest.

Meanwhile, a joint venture of OMV Petrom and ExxonMobil could start extracting 6 billion cubic metres per year in 2020-2021, Gal said.

Petrom and Exxon have yet to announce an investment decision on their Domino-1 well where they have said they have discovered 1.5-3 trillion cubic feet (42-84 billion cubic metres (bcm)) of gas reserves.

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