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OMV Petrom Director, about Black Sea gas: If you want industrialization, extract subsoil resources

Romania needs to extract its subsoil resources if it wants industrialization, said, on Thursday, the General Director of OMV Petrom, Christina Verchere, in a conference about the internal production of Romania.

At this time, Romania is a net importer of natural gas, even though it has the enormous opportunity of natural gas in the Black Sea. What is necessary for this project to advance? This opportunity is unique for Romania, but the project is not developing fast enough, this is the challenge. So, there is a huge potential in the Black Sea, and it's not only about Neptun Deep, but also other opportunities there, but we are not able to make the project advance. The project is stationary in the domain of laws and regulation authorities. This project can advance, this is not about spending money in the budget, it's an investment of the private sector and yet one of the largest investments that can take place. Our call is the following: if you want to have industrialization, you must extract the subsoil resources. This is the first step. Let's make this first step and then you can discuss what is the best use for this product within the country, said Christina Verchere, at the conference organized by Ziarul Financiar.

The General Director of OMV Petrom maintained that the intention of the company is to sell the natural gas in the Black Sea on the Romanian market.

As a producer, you want to sell to the closest market, or this is the Romanian market, so we want to sell it on the Romanian market. The potential is there, but first you need to have the product available. Natural gas has an important role not only in industrialization, but also in the use of cleaner energy. I don't think we will see ourselves slowing down the energy transition at all, but it will probably accelerate, and Romania can play a role in what regards its own carbon footprint. (...) But first you need to start by extracting from the subsoil this natural resource, Christina Verchere reiterated.

OMV Petrom and ExxonMobil are equal partners in the deep sea deposit exploration in the Black Sea, Neptun Deep, estimated at 42-84 billion cubic meters of gas. In comparison, Romania presently produces around 10-11 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

Last year, ExxonMobil announced its intention to withdraw from Romania.

In their turn, the representatives of OMV Petrom claimed several times that extraction of gas in the Neptun Deep perimeter will become uncertain, if the Offshore Law is not amended.

The Minister of Economy, Energy and the Business Environment, Virgil Popescu, stated repeatedly, since taking over his mandate last fall, that the legislation in the offshore oil sector will have to be approved in Parliament by political consensus, and the Government will have no initiative in this sense.