Romania’s Romgaz will pay USD 1 bln for ExxonMobil’s stake in Black Sea gas project
Romanian state-controlled gas producer Romgaz (BVB ticker: SNG) will pay USD 1.06 bln to take over a 50% stake in the Neptun Deep offshore gas project in the Black Sea from the U.S. group ExxonMobil.
The company’s board approved the deal on Tuesday, November 2, and the General Shareholders Meeting will vote on it on December 9.
Romgaz will have to pay a deposit of USD 106 mln upon signing the share purchase agreement, according to a notification sent to the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
This is by far the largest takeover deal ever signed by a Romanian company. The transaction is backed by Romania’s Government, which holds 70% of Romgaz’s shares. It comes at a time when Romania is struggling to ensure its energy independence in the context of rising gas and energy prices.
Neptun Deep is by far the biggest gas perimeter in Romania’s Black Sea section, with reserves estimated at between 42 and 84 billion cubic meters. Romania currently uses about 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
ExxonMobil holds 50% of the project with the remaining 50% owned by Romanian company OMV Petrom, which is controlled by the Austrian group OMV. Once the deal is completed, OMV Petrom is expected to take over the project’s management.
So far, ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom have invested approximately USD 1.5 bln to explore the Neptun Deep perimeter and assess its economic viability. The two partners have postponed their investment decision due to legislation changes passed by the Parliament under the PSD rule. The Liberals promised to change the offshore law to make it friendlier for investments but haven’t taken any concrete steps in this sense so far.