Romania Looks to Natural Gas to Fuel Energy Need
One day after he paid a visit to the Domino-1 deep-water well, the first of its kind in Romania, jointly developed by ExxonMobil and OMV subsidiary Petrom, Romanian president Traian Basescu presented a message to the Romanian Parliament, March 7, 2012. An important part of this message has been on the subject of energy and alternative sources of energy in Romania.
Speaking about the Black Sea gas deposit, Basescu announced significantly increased values of resources.
“Initially, they said about 35 to 80 billion cubic meters. I can tell you first deposit amount calculated after drilling, is 100 to 110 billion cubic meters, which would be a very good production for the Romanian economy on medium term. But in the same area there are five deposits that have the same characteristics and quantitative signal. The prospects will continue until next year for the other five deposits.”
Basescu mentioned possible gas exports from this Black Sea deposits advocating for a partial gas price liberalization.
“I would say that Romania has a substantial resource in the Black Sea. At least we can ensure our needs and, perhaps, of some neighbors, on one condition: the liberalization of gas price for industry, not for households, as costs to extract gas from a depth of 1,000 meters of water and still another 2,000 meters under the seabed, are not small, but profitable on a free market. Sure, there is not a decision to take it now, but you must know that we can keep prices very low for the population, but the economy should receive the correct input in the consumption of gas and electricity in general.”
Romania’s president reminded the Parliament the energy needs of the country. “If you look at the upcoming ten years, one of the biggest problems of Romania that we must add on the list is connected with the energy. Imagine a Romania with a doubled GDP in the next 10, 12 years, with what power to do this?”
He mentioned his opinions on the sources that provide energy for future development, inluding renewables.
“Safe, clean energy is a solution, as you saw, Dobruja (region) is full, you hit on every side by those mills. Very well, it’s clean, although very expensive, but we have it. This will not however be sufficient and we can not stuff the country from east to west and from north to south only with this wind mills because they also have their effect on the environment.”
Basescu submitted his support to the nuclear energy and to the gas resources existing in the Black Sea and shale gas.”
The President asked the legislative body of Romania to fasten the decisions regarding the energy. “I ask you, as Parliament, to look with responsibility at Romania's need to consistently increase the capacity to produce energy, nuclear, the Black Sea energy and energy from shale gas, if indeed we have resources.”
The morning of the President's address, Minister for Regional Development and Tourism Cristian Petrescu, met with representatives of Chevron Corp to discuss energy projects that the company wants to develop in Romania.
Tom Holst, Chevron Romania Country Manager told him about the importance and advantages of shale gas exploration would be for Romania.
Minister Cristian Petrescu affirmation of his support for those projects that help development and create jobs, while respecting the highest standards of safety and environmental protection, was contained in a statement from the Ministry.
Chevron representatives, together with U.S. ambassador in Bucharest, Mark Gitenstein, met with Prime Minister Mihai Razvan Ungureanu also on the evening of March 6 to discuss the intention of the second largest oil group in the United States to start drilling for shale gas this year in Romania.
That same evening, a small group of demonstrators gathered at the Ministry of Economy to protest against the shale gas exploration.
Chevron plans exploration in Barlad, Moldavia region, announcing late last year that it will start drilling in Romania in 2012, in search of shale gas.