Romanian minister: Exxon “not committed” to exit Neptun Deep project
Officials of U.S. group Exxon have said that they are not committed to leave Romania and are only testing the market, and that is why they have put up for sale their 50% stake in the Neptun Deep offshore gas project developed with OMV Petrom in Romania’s Black Sea - to see if they receive an offer that could determine them to sell, said Romania’s acting minister of economy and energy Virgil Popescu, at Realitatea Plus TV station.
Related to Exxon's reasons for wanting to exit the project, Popescu said that the exploitation stage of the Neptun Deep project would have started if it hadn't been for emergency ordinance (OUG) 114 that capped the gas price for producers.
“All Exxon officials have said is that they want to exit multiple markets, sell their assets around the world, and move to other markets. I am firmly convinced that only OUG 114 kept Exxon and OMV Petrom from starting the exploitation in the Black Sea,” the minister said, according to local Adevarul.
He added that the amendments to the Oil Law, approved by the Government by emergency ordinance on February 4, await the opinion of the State Security Council (CSAT) and will be published later in the Official Gazette.
“We still think of a window of opportunity to extract gas from the Black Sea. I don't know if Exxon will sell or not sell to someone, a state or a company... Anyone can buy if they get the CSAT endorsement. It is not forbidden, but the buyer must receive the CSAT approval because it is a national security issue,” stressed Popescu.
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