Romgaz Discovered Shale Gas 17 Years Ago
“Do we want to have gas – first of all to stop importing from Russia – do we want to have it cheap and do we want to make the Romanian industry competitive and, of course, to have lower expenses for the people? Then we must have gas. If not, if we import it from Russia, it will be expensive. It is very simple” said Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta during his last debate with the media on the topic of shale gas.
“The thing with shale gas, for now, because I’ve seen it especially in Oradea area – where everyone is an expert on gas – for now Romgaz has been exploiting for 20 years in Ardeal, in all Transylvania using this method and no senator from Oradea came to say what a danger it is,” said Ponta.
Romgaz discovered unconventional gas, including shale gas, in 1994 and 1995, said Romgaz's Development Director Radu Gheorghe. He explained that Romgaz is in the evaluation stage and undergoes exploration works in 8 perimeters in Romania, out of which three are in the Transylvania Basin. To graduate to the exploitation stage however the company needs high investments, particularly due to the high costs of hydraulic fracturing.
He also said that “Romgaz has made some experiments related to fracking. If we find something, anything is welcome, including oil. After evaluation we will know precisely if we move to exploitation."
“We had information that in Transylvania there are deposits of unconventional gas that can be marketed. After the tests done by Romgaz from 1994 to 1995, in some areas in Transylvania results were very good in some important fields. For this we had made hydraulic fracking with gel and now we find that those bores produce even this day. The 3D seismic analysis made in the last three years has shown that Romgaz has new results in high depth area, higher than 3, 000 meters,” said Radu Gheorghe.
He cannot estimate the quantities of unconventional gas discovered by Romgaz.
He mentioned that until today, Romgaz has produced gas from unconventional sources, such as shale gas or coal gas, but only accidentally. “Romgaz has tested for unconventional gas, but we had the communist technology. In the past years we were not sure that in the perimeters from Transylvania there are unconventional gases. After the Revolution, we had access to American know-how. We have made 20 bores and we had good results for a quarter of them. Romgaz produces gas out of very hard, compact rocks containing clay using an old technology. We can say that, up until today, we have produced unconventional gas by accident,” mentioned Romgaz director.
Gheorghe also commented that Romgaz is in the re-evaluation stage with respect to shale gas. “We are in the early stages […]. We are analyzing all possibilities to discover new deposits […]. Romgaz analyzes the extent of the investments needed. Romgaz continues with its geological research program in order to find new resources.” He said that the move to the exploitation stage is only an economic problem. “In order to produce these gases we have to drill horizontal bores.”