Romgaz to bid for ExxonMobil’s stake in Black Sea project within two months
Romanian state-owned natural gas company Romgaz (SNG) will submit a bid for the 50% stake held by US group ExxonMobil in the Black Sea perimeter Neptun Deep within a couple of months, before the term of the interim CEO expires, announced energy minister Virgil Popescu.
He expressed confidence that Romgaz can handle the project, located in Romania's Black Sea section. ExxonMobil is also the project's operator, while OMV Petrom (SNP) holds the other 50% stake.
"I don't know if anyone in Romania has the expertise for deepwater projects, but I say we should give Romgaz a chance. I believe that Romgaz can manage this project," the energy minister said, Economica.net reported.
He added that his ministry is working on the amendments to the Offshore Law, which it will first unveil to the ruling coalition.
"Then, we will submit the bill to Parliament and to other political forces that want to join this project. I want all or most political forces to join this project because the gas exploitation will bring benefits and will make Romania a regional player on the natural gas market," continued Popescu, expressing his hope that the new Offshore Law will be voted in this parliamentary session.
In separate news, Romgaz announced that its net profit rose by 15% in 2020, despite a 14% decline in production (amid weak demand).
"In 2020, Romgaz estimates a consolidated turnover of RON 4.1 billion (EUR 840 mln), compared to RON 5.1 bln in 2019. The decrease was driven by 24.5% lower natural gas sales. On the other hand, consolidated revenues from storage services increased by 13.32% and those from the sale of electricity by 29.9%," reads the company's preliminary financial report.
The preliminary net profit reported for 2020 is RON 1.25 bln (EUR 257 mln).
Romgaz's shares jumped 2% on the Bucharest Stock Exchange on Thursday, after the company released its preliminary results. Since the beginning of this year, the company's shares are up 14.5% compared to a 5% growth for the BET index.
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