Romania Mulls Replacing Exxon at Gas Field: Press
Romanian Energy Minister Virgil Popescu has suggested that state gas company Romgaz could replace ExxonMobil at the Neptun Deep gas field in the Black Sea, local news agency Agerpres reported on November 15.
Exxon reportedly informed Romanian authorities that it wanted to exit the project in July, but the US major is yet to confirm its intentions. Its Austro-Romanian partner OMV Petrom and US investment fund Carlyle Group, the developer of the nearby Midia Gas Development, have both been tipped as potential buyers.
Romgaz should look at options for assuming Exxon's 50% stake in the venture, Popescu said, adding that he would coordinate with the Romanian firm’s management to determine whether this was possible. The US major is scaling back its operations in several international areas to focus more on domestic tight oil production and other major plays.
Neptun Deep is targeting up to 84bn m3 of recoverable gas, which could potentially be exported to neighbouring countries. But OMV Petrom and Exxon have repeatedly postponed a final investment decision, citing regulatory uncertainty in Romania. Bucharest late last year imposed caps on domestic gas prices, restrictions on exports and a 2% turnover tax on gas and electricity firms, but is now looking to repeal the legislation.