Romgaz Profits Rise, as Romanian Gas Use Soars

Romanian natural gas consumption increased by 22% to 7bn m3 (74.9 terawatt-hours) in first half 2017, after declines recorded of 2% in 1H2016 and almost 5% in 1H2015, said state-controlled producer Romgaz in 1H results on August 11.

Romgaz said its gas production in Romania increased by 16.5% year on year in 1H2017 to 2.56bn m3, accounting for 46.5% of the country’s gas production – putting it level with OMV Petrom, the country’s other main producer which August 10 said its 1H2017 gas output was 2.59bn m3, down 3%.

Romgaz’s production in 2Q alone was 1.23bn m3, up 49% year on year, helped by wells at its Caragele field being put into production.

Deliveries by Romgaz to the domestic market in 1H2017 by 31.6% year on year to 3bn m3 (32 terawatt-hours), boosting its market share by 3 percentage points to almost 43%. Revenues from such gas sales were a quarter higher. Its electricity production doubled (+96%) to 999.7 TWh in 1H2017, or a 3% market share; the company is building a new 430 MW gas-fired CCGT for start up by early 2020.

Romgaz net profit in 1H was up 41% at new lei 868mn ($222.7mn), while post-tax earnings (Ebitda) were up 30% at new lei 1.32bn ($334mn). The company is 70%-owned by the Romanian government and listed on the Bucharest stock exchange.

Riches in the Black Sea

Romanian national gas output could continue to expand from 10.3bn m³ in 2015, if new offshore gas fields are developed for start-up in the 2020s. But Austrian energy group OMV's chief Rainer Seele said August 10 that a Hungarian decision not to develop pipeline infrastructure might prompt a rethink on how the Neptun offshore gas discovery in the Black Sea, operated by subsidiary OMV Petrom with ExxonMobil an equal 50% partner, is marketed. 


Mark Smedley


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