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Ambassador Zakonyi Botond: Hungary is ready to buy gas from the Romanian Black Sea at the market price

Hungary is ready to buy gas from the Romanian part of the Black Sea, at the market price, as they proposed to diversity the sources for supply, stated on Wednesday for AGERPRES, Zakonyi Botond, the ambassador of Hungary to Bucharest.

‘We have one supplier, Russia and we need diversification as much as possible’ said the Hungarian diplomat, who took part on Wednesday in a conference on the issue of natural gas.

‘The Black Sea is vital, it is the easiest way for us, for Austria, as well as for Romania, as they do not pay transport tariffs anymore. It is a logical solution’ the ambassador said.

According to  him, the Hungarian companies had preliminary discussions with the producers from the Black Sea but everybody expects the final decision for investments for the starting of the production.

‘Our country is ready to buy at a normal price, at the market price, the gas from the Romanian part of the Black Sea’ he said.

In February, the Hungarian minister of foreign affairs and commerce Peter Szijjarto met with the American secretary for energy Rick Perry,occasion on which Szijjarto required the American official to intervene with Exxon Mobil, so that the American oil group to start, together with the Austrian partner OMV, the production of offshore gas in Romania, MTI says.

According to Szijjarto, if Hungary buys natural gas from the Black Sea, this will be a significant opportunity to diversity the sources for supply with natural gas. The Hungarian official said that Budapest took all the necessary measures to reduce its dependence on the natural gas of Russia, but the steps to come depend on the allies of NATO of Hungary as well as on the other member states of the European Union.

It is in the strategic interest of Hungary as the partnership ExxonMobil-OMVPetrom to start the production of natural gas in the Black Sea and the gas extracted to be available to be bought by Hungary, said Peter Szijjarto, saying that natural gas could be delivered through a pipeline which Romania has already started to build and would connect Hungary through an interconnector which at present is made to be bidirectional.

In the territorial Romanian waters of the Black Sea, the companies ExxonMobil and OMVPetrom explore together the block Neptun where the first estimates show the existence of gas between 42 and 84 billion cubic metres.

OMV Petrom announced in February that they postpone the final decision for investments.

Christian Verchere, CEO of OMV Petrom stated that the company needs fiscal stability, a free market for gas and infrastructure to start the gas project in the Black Sea and the present legal framework does not meet these conditions.