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Energy official: Investors will extract 10 pct of country's gas consumption from Black Sea in 2021

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Investors will extract 10 pct of the country's gas consumption from the Black Sea, starting next year, Niculae Havrilet, State Secretary in the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment, said on Tuesday at the FOREN 2020 online conference.

Havrilet did not specify the name of the company, but it is Black Sea Oil & Gas, which announced that it will begin production in the Midia offshore perimeter in the first half of 2021.

Romania consumes about 10-11 billion cubic meters of gas annually.

"In Romania, the energy production sector has suffered a major impact due to low demand, but we need to recover. We have an integrated plan, there is a strategy to move production from coal to gas, because Romania has the opportunity of the Black Sea. There are investors who will bring into the market, starting next year, 10 pct of the total annual demand. So, fortunately, we have natural gas and we have important coal generation capacities, that need to be converted to be used for decarbonised energy," the ministerial official said.

He stressed that, despite the COVID-19 crisis, investment continues.

"The activity is in operation, we need to increase demand, we need to invest in new capacities, but also in infrastructure, where this public service is not functional. We have EUR 1 billion in European support to expand gas distribution infrastructure and intend to use innovation funds to use natural gas to produce hydrogen. Also, at the moment, many energy producers want to invest in new opportunities, in offshore wind farms. And this, following a study by the World Bank, saying that in the Romanian part of the Black Sea there is a wind potential of 80,000 MW," Havrilet elaborated.

This will also help to achieve Romania's target of achieving a renewable energy of 30.7 pct of consumption in 2030, compared to 24 pct at present, added the representative of the Ministry of Energy.

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