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    Romania Calls Tender For Black Sea Pipe


The pipeline's completion is timed to coincide with the launch of the offshore Neptun Deep gas field.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Romania Calls Tender For Black Sea Pipe

Romania is seeking a contractor to build a pipeline that will bring ashore gas produced at Black Sea fields, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on August 2.

The Black Sea Shore – Podisor pipeline is slated to cost €287-330mn ($319-366mn) and run for 308 km from the coast south of Constanta to a connection point near the capital Bucharest. First proposed several years ago, it is designed to ship future gas supplies from offshore projects to markets in Romania as well as overseas, via the Brua pipeline.

EBRD said on August 2 it had received a request from Romania’s national gas grid operator Transgaz for a loan to finance construction. Transgaz has also announced a tender for the project, the bank said, with bids from potential contractors to be accepted until October 31.

Black Sea – Podisor is scheduled to start up in 2021, coinciding with the tentative launch of 84bn m³ Neptun Deep gas field operated by Austria’s OMV and US major ExxonMobil. There are concerns the project could face delays, however, with a final investment decision (FID) still not in place and ExxonMobil reportedly considering the sale of its stake.

OMV's Romanian arm OMV Petrom said in an earnings report on July 31 that "the current legislative environment does not provide the necessary prerequisites for a multi-billion investment decision," – a reference to Romania's recent introduction of increased taxes for gas producers and caps on domestic gas prices. But the company added it was still "keen" to the Neptun Deep project realised. "We will continue the dialogue with the authorities to understand the way forward," it said.