Austrian group OMV, which controls Romanian oil and gas group OMV Petrom, claims that it hasn't been notified by its American partner ExxonMobil or the Romanian Government about Exxon’s intention to exit the Neptun Deep gas project in the Black Sea.
“So far we have no official information, neither from ExxonMobil nor from the Government, about changes in the project's shareholder structure,” said OMV CEO Rainer Seele at a recent teleconference with financial analysts, local Profit.ro reported.
ExxonMobil could either sell its 50% share of the rights in the Black Sea perimeter, or the whole company that has the extraction rights in this perimeter, in which OMV Petrom holds the remaining 50%, could go on sale, according to a confidential letter leaked to Economica.net and published on July 31.
Around mid-July, unofficial sources quoted by G4media.ro informed about ExxonMobil's plans to pull out from Romanian project. Exxon's representatives reportedly informed the Romanian Government and the National Agency for Mineral Resources – ANRM that they wanted to give access to other companies to information about the gas exploitation project in the Black Sea and eventually sell the license, Government and oil industry sources told G4media.ro. Richard Tasker, country manager of ExxonMobil operations in Romania, met with prime minister Viorica Dancila in the days before the exit plans surfaced.
ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom were supposed to decide on moving on with the commercial exploitation of this project by the end of 2018 but delayed their decision due to changes to the offshore law and new taxes the Government levied on the energy industry.
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