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PGNiG among prospective bidders for Exxon’s Black Sea operations in RO

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Polish state-owned oil and gas group PGNiG is among the prospective bidders interested in US group ExxonMobil’s 50% stake in the Neptun Deep offshore perimeter, in Romania’s Black Sea, G4Media.ro informs.

G4Media and other local media published on Wednesday, November 20, the presentation ExxonMobil has sent to investors interested in its offshore project in Romania.

State-owned Romanian gas producer Romgaz has already confirmed interest in buying a 15-20% stake in the project.

The US group has hired ScotiaBank to find a buyer for the 50% stake. ExxonMobil notified the Romanian Government of its decision to pull out of the Black Sea project this summer, after Romania revised its offshore law and set a tax on energy companies’ revenues at the end of last year.

At the same time, the US company has discovered huge deposits of hydrocarbons in other areas, including Cyprus - where the gas reserves in the Glaucus perimeter is three times larger than in the Black Sea.

Separately, Romania’s president Klaus Iohannis revealed in a debate with the media on November 19, part of his presidential campaign, that ExxonMobil answered his inquiry on this topic by saying that the sale of its stake in the Neptun Deep gas field is part of a global strategy.

However, Iohannis implied that this might not be the final decision of the US company. The president also said that Romania should thoroughly revise the legislation in the sector, starting from country’s interests and setting up a fair environment for investors as well.

ExxonMobil has been developing the Neptun Deep project in a 50-50 partnership with Romanian oil and gas company OMV Petrom, controlled by Austrian group OMV. The US group has so far invested about USD 700 million in exploration activities in this project.

This project has been considered a strategic US investment in Romania and the region because it is located in the Black Sea, the epicenter of political disputes between Russia and NATO after Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

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