Romania endorses investor-friendly amendments to Offshore Law
The Romanian Chamber of Deputies, as the decision-making body, endorsed on Wednesday, May 18, the amendments to the Offshore Law that were expected for years to unlock the several investment projects in various development stages in the country's Black Sea perimeters.
"With this law, production can basically begin in the Black Sea," energy minister Virgil Popescu told lawmakers. "It brings stability, predictability, and a friendly fiscal system."
The bill was endorsed with 248 votes against 34 and was submitted for promulgation to president Klaus Iohannis, Economica.net reported.
None of the amendments proposed by the opposition parties, reformist USR and radical AUR, were accepted. Eventually, AUR was the sole party that voted against the bill.
It remains to be seen whether the new legislation, which lowers the tax and removes export restrictions on gas, is enough to convince investors to go ahead with their plans.
Out of the several projects, the largest one is operated by OMV Petrom in partnership with Romgaz (ExxonMobil previously), while the most advanced is operated by Black Sea Oil and Gas (BSOG, owned by Carlyle investment fund), which expects production in the second half of this year if everything goes well - while Lukoil is also operating a perimeter in Romania's offshore area. Lukoil, which operates the block in partnership with Romania's Romgaz, announced in 2020 intentions to exit from the project.
In total, the offshore blocks would hold potential reserves of about 200 billion cubic meters of gas, Romania's consumption for about 19 years, according to estimates of the National Agency for Mineral Resources (ANRM).
(Photo source: OMV Petrom)