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Energy Minister: I would like Romgaz to take Exxon stake in the project in the Black Sea

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Romgaz should consider the opportunity to take stake of  the ExxonMobil project Neptun Black Sea, where the Americans will withdraw, said on Friday the Minister of Economy, Energy and Business, Virgil Popescu, in a conference .

"Obviously, if we had more gas, the price would be lower. We'll have a talk next week with Romgaz separately, to be more  active on the market, more active in the Black Sea. As there rumors of withdrawal of Exxon I wish Romgaz analyzed the opportunity and tried to enter this consortium. I think it's time for viable Romanian companies as Romgaz, to take this step. I say this now for the first time: I want  Romgaz to enter the project in the Black Sea, "said Popescu in the Focus Energetic conference.

Popescu  is not the first Romanian official issuing the idea that Romgaz take the Exxon stake. Iulian Iancu, Chairman of the Committee for Industries and Services of the Chamber of Deputies, said the same thing a week ago.

"I think that if ExxonMobil ultimately decide to withdraw from Romania, should the Romanian state engage and Romgaz should take stake with them. ExxonMobil did not rule out  collaboration with Romgaz in this regard", he said Iancu.

According to him, Romgaz has the ability to take the American participation in the project  in the Black Sea.

Iancu said that discussions in  the Parliament on the offshore law will be resumed in the next parliamentary session.

In turn, Prime Minister Orban announced in early November that the new government will seek solutions to quickly  unlock major gas extraction projects in the Black Sea.

"In economics, we aim to regain business confidence in the government. (...) It was a legislative upheaval. For example, in offshore there were caused delays in making investments in the exploitation of gas in the Black Sea, which adversely affected the Romanian economy. In our turn,  we move as quickly as possible to find solutions to unlock these important projects for Romania ", said Orban.

Romagaz net profit up 18.9pct in first nine months of 2019

Romania's national gas producer Romagaz posted a net profit of 1.185 billion lei in the first nine months of this year, increasing by 18.9 percent compared to the same period of last year, according to the the financial report of the company sent by the Bucharest Stock Exchange on Thursday.

The turnover increased by 10.1 percent to 3.790 billion lei.

"Confirming the previous course, between January and September 2019, the Group registered increases of the main indicators compared to the similar period of 2018, thus: the turnover +10.1 percent, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) +18.4 percent, the the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and armonisation (EBITDA) +25.4 percent. The rates corresponding to profitability also stand at significant values," company officials showed.

Total revenues increased by 11.6 percent to 3.927 billion lei, whereas total expenditures were higher by 9 percent, reaching 2.532 billion lei.

"The gross result is higher by 17.0 percent against last year, due to the following factors of influence: the turnover increased by 10.1 percent against the turnover obtained in the similar period of 2018, as a result of an increase of revenues from sale of natural gas, both domestic production and gas bought for resale (+12.92 percent); the positive effect of the turnover growth over the profit was diminished by the increase in expenditures with tax on additional revenues (+50.4 percent, an increase of 186.4 million lei, respectively) and the money contribution collected by license holders in the energy and natural gas areas of 2 percent of the turnover obtained from activities covered by the licenses granted by the Regulatory Committee of the National Energy Regulatory Authority - ANRE (62.8 million lei)," according to the financial report.



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