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ExxonMobil reportedly responds to Romgaz’s offer for Neptun Deep

Romanian state-controlled gas company has received "a first response […] to the offer to take over ExxonMobil's participation in the Neptun Deep gas project in the Black Sea," according to statements made on Tuesday, April 20, by Razvan Popescu, the company's economic director.


"Unfortunately, I can't give you many details because we are in a period in which we have to keep certain limits of confidentiality. However, I can tell you that we have received the first answer, and there is a very auspicious interaction with Exxon's representatives," he stated, according to Agerpres.


He argued that the best financing option for this deal would be in euro, on the European market, because of the high level of financing involved and the low liquidity on the local market. ExxonMobil has invested alone around USD 750 million in the exploration phase of the project.


Last week, Romgaz CEO Aristotel Jude said in a press conference that the company is ready to take over ExxonMobil's stake in the Black Sea Neptun Deep project, and the funding will be a mixed one, consisting of own sources and attracted sources. He stressed that Romgaz is also considering a bond issue.

"On March 31, we submitted an offer to take over ExxonMobil's share in the Neptun Deep block. The procedure is carried out by an intermediary bank and we are waiting for the answer as soon as possible. If our bid is considered attractive, we will negotiate the contract to take over," Jude said.

"Romgaz is ready to provide, through a consortium of banks, the necessary funds for this project. So, we will provide both our own sources and raised funds, conditional of course, upon our bid being accepted," added Jude.

He said that he had also talked with OMV Petrom and that there were no problems with the collaboration between the two companies.

Currently, ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom are equal partners in the deepwater Neptun Deep project, where exploration has revealed deposits estimated at 42-84 billion cubic metres. For comparison, Romania produced 9.2 billion cubic metres in 2020.

ExxonMobil has announced weighing an exit from Romania, and Romgaz has submitted an offer to take over the US company's stake. In their turn, OMV Petrom executives announced that next year they will take the decision to invest or not in this project, depending on legislative changes.