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FPPG: Romania has potential to be largest gas producer in Europe

Romania has the potential to be, at the Black Sea, the largest gas producer in Europe and to have a very important contribution in terms of security of supply, if we look at the carbon storage part, Oil and Gas Employers' Federation (FPGG) President Frank Neel told a specialist conference.

"... one [topic] is the carbon storage, where the DG Climate is looking at real force and to put an obligation. Here, again we can compare at what happened over the past 12 months between the US and the European Union in terms of regulation. You have two models. We may have a third one, something in the middle. But we have what it would be called the carrots and the sticks. What we have seen in the US, to promote carbon storage there was definitely a carrots system, so incentives, tax credits, and we have seen a major boost in terms of investment in the US in this field. In the European Union, the DG Climate is more looking like the stick part of it. I think we see this as a risk in terms of moving the investment outside the European Union. So, again, this is a topic where we are working with the authorities and we explain also why for Romania it's important. I think we have seen Romania, we have seen with the gas exploited in the last year in the Black Sea, there is a potential for Romania to be the largest gas producer in Europe. So a definitely major contribution for the security of supply. Looking at carbon storage, here again, due to the history of the Romanian industry, a hundred years in oil and gas, the skills we have in the country, the engineers, the surface engineers, the reservoir, the gas storage reservoir, where have the experience we have, there is also the potential to develop a new industry, a new business model, to make sure that the industry which has a challenge in terms of this intensive industry, with a difficulty to abate the CO2, the cement industry, the steel industry, the meat industry, which is important in Romania, we have a solution for them, as an industry, and definitely carbon storage could be a new hub, a new activity for Romania to develop a sustainable future for the industry,' he said.

In the specialist's view, Romania needs to think about a new way of storing carbon, but also about the importance of hydrogen for industry.

'The next topic we discuss during this conference is hydrogen. (...) I think what is important for industry is what is what is our look on hydrogen and not to make a choice about technology, but to leave the research and development, to leave the engineers, to leave the market to drive the low carbon hydrogen. I think Romania has a wealth of opportunity here in terms of green hydrogen, if we think of solar, renewable hydrogen, definitely due to the potential of wind and so on, but also to the gas resources, due to the carbon storage capability to develop an affordable hydrogen, a local hydrogen,' Neel added.

He also pointed out that Romania has the potential to increase its production, particularly through the Neptun Deep project in the Black Sea.

"First of all, there are some very good news in Romania in terms of security of supply. First of members of FPPG Black Sea Oil & Gas, continue to also produce but also show that they are potentially... they also have the potential to increase the production, so it's really good news for Romania. We see a reservoir with a very good quality, a very good quality of gas, while also I would say a very good information for the next project, the Neptun, where Romgaz and OMV Petrom, our members, took FID decision last year, so a very important decision and there will be a panel today to discuss with the CEO of the company about this project (...) Two topics that I would also like to highlight. The methane emissions, which for Romania is a big challenge, due to the history of the oil and gas industry. And I think we are going to the authority to defend the position. It's not that we are against the methane reduction, but we want to make it economically viable and to have a sense in terms of what we can achieve in Romania. So that's really a strong debate at the moment with the authorities and with the industry,' said Franck Neel.

The Oil and Gas Employers's Federation (FPPG), under the high patronage of the Ministry of Energy, is organizing the 6th edition of the Romanian International Gas Conference - RIGC 2023, from November 7 to 8, on the theme "Redefining Security of Supply. The potential of new technologies for a sustainable energy transition."