ExxonMobil negotiates with Lukoil the sale of its offshore operations in RO
US group ExxonMobil negotiates with Russian group Lukoil the sale of its 50% stake in the Neptun Deep offshore gas perimeter in Romania’s Black Sea section, governmental sources told G4Media.ro.
The next step in the negotiations is Lukoil’s access to the data room, which includes the technical and financial information about the project.
ExxonMobil announced in November last year its intention to sell its stake in the Neptun Deep project, which holds the largest offshore gas reserves found in Romania’s Black Sea section (40 to 80 bln cubic meters).
Romanian group OMV Petrom, controlled by Austria’s OMV, controls the remaining 50% in the project.
The two groups have invested close to USD 1.5 bln in exploring the perimeter but have postponed a decision on its commercial exploitation due to the new offshore law adopted by the Parliament in 2018.
Lukoil’s possible involvement in the Neptun Deep project is considered a major national security problem, given that the project has been regarded as an alternative to gas imports from Russia, the same sources said for G4Media.ro.
The Lukoil group, controlled by billionaire Vaghit Alekperov, is considered one of the pillars of Kremlin’s international energy policy.
Lukoil also operates the Trident offshore gas perimeter in the Romanian Black Sea, with gas reserves estimated at some 30 bln cubic meters.
Romanian state-owned gas producer Romgaz also holds a minority stake in that perimeter.
Romgaz is also interested in buying part of ExxonMobil’s stake in the Neptun Deep project.