Petrom CEO: Decision to force producers to sell gas on exchange distorts the market
Thursday, August 21, 2014
The decision of the authorities to force gas producers to sell part of the production on the exchange distorts the market, as there is not enough demand for this order to be fulfilled, said Mariana Gheorghe, CEO of Petrom, in an interview granted to Agerpres.
'This decision is proof that we do not have a liquid market, and this administrative intervention of course distorts our commercial activities, especially since we have big clients, with certain particularities, we have a regulated market, that also has its particularities. So an intervention on a certain segment distorts the other segments', said the Petrom official.
According to Mariana Gheorghe, it is very hard to define the optimal mandatory percentage to be sold on the exchange.
According to Government Emergency Order 35/2014, starting with July 15, 2014 and until December 31, 2018, natural gas producers in Romania have an obligation to sell part of their production on the exchange market. According to an order of the National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE), this quota is of 20 percent of the company's own production destined for the competitive market.
Petrom CEO: Ukraine conflict led to cheaper gas for Romania, the rest of Europe
One of the effects of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict was cheaper gas both for the Romanian consumers and for the rest of the Europeans, Petrom CEO Mariana Gheorghe told Agerpres in an interview.
'For now, the conflict in Ukraine led to lower gas prices over the first six months, from 28 to 26 euros per MWh, and this effect is visible across the entire Europe, where I noticed some of the lowest prices in recent history. Therefore, this result is beneficial both for the Romanian consumers and the other Europeans,' Mariana Gheorghe said.
According to her, if next winter is mild, Romania will have no problem in supplying gas, if Russian gas imports are stopped. However, other European countries will be affected.
'Considering the lower demand, the average of imports in the total national gas consumption is about 9 percent, so the Romanian market is almost independent. Therefore, given the lower imports, our reserves and the evolution of the demand, if we have a mild winter, I believe that Romania will have no problem next winter, but we cannot say the same as for other countries in the region or in Europe. We are also ready, as we were in 2009, to adjust slightly upwards the production at some wells, within the limits of our flexibility,' the Petrom CEO claimed.
On its part, the Energy Department claimed on several occasions that Romania's population will not be affected by an interruption in the Russian gas supplies to Ukraine, because there is a sufficient quantity of stored gas and an adequate extraction capacity.
The Russian gas imported by Romania is supplied via Ukraine.
In addition, about 15 percent of the natural gas consumed by the European Union flows through Ukraine, and the previous 'gas wars' between Moscow and Kiev in 2006 and 2009 have affected the gas supply from several European countries, such as Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary or the Republic of Moldova.