U.S. ambassador: “Romania – an island of freedom gas surrounded by a sea of Gazprom”

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Black Sea Oil & Gas’  pipeline has been inaugurated at Vadu Beach,  Corbu Village, in Constanta county on Thursday, in a ceremony attended by PM Ludovic Orban, Economy minister Virgil Popescu and U.S. Ambassador in Bucharest, Adrian Zuckerman, and Black Sea Oil & Gas CEO, Mark Beacom.

“Today we mark one of Romania’s most important strides forward in developing its Black Sea natural gas resources – a national treasure with the potential to transform Romania into an energy secure and more prosperous country.  It also marks an important step toward achieving energy security for Europe. During the past seven years, Mark Beacom and the Black Sea Oil & Gas or BSOG team have been working hard on this project.  I am very pleased to see this strategic and pioneering project moving forward.  The start of this operation to lay pipe offshore is the most significant milestone for any U.S. energy company in Romania,” said the U.S. Ambassador in his speech.

The project is backed by the Carlyle Group, through its Carlyle International Energy Partners Fund (CIEP), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

This is another milestone in Romania’s economy.  I commend BSOG and its contractors for persevering and achieving great progress despite the challenges created by the pandemic. This project is a key pillar of the U.S.-Romania Strategic Partnership,” ambassador Zuckerman pointed out.

The American diplomat reminded that both Romania and the United States “had underscored the joint opposition to Nord Stream 2 and our efforts to provide greater energy security for Europe and to reduce dependence on Russian gas.”

Russia is enacting its plan to dominate and control Central Europe’s energy markets through a web of infrastructure. Moscow uses natural gas to politically blackmail and coerce vulnerable governments throughout this region. It seduces greedy politicians and manufactures billionaire oligarchs to do its bidding across Europe – from the continent’s largest economies to its smallest and weakest countries.  It has cut gas transit through Ukraine to threaten markets who depend on it and pursues pipelines such as NordStream 2 to starve Ukraine of vital state revenues. It bullies the Moldovan government and puts the welfare of its people at risk in winter when lack of gas would mean certain death for many.  In Greece, Russia’s partners have grown tremendously rich and seek to expand their network and influence throughout the region,” Zuckerman said.

“Romania is an island of freedom gas surrounded by a sea of Gazprom (…) The tentacles of Moscow reach through Ukraine, Moldova, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey – all national economies and commercial relationships that perilously rely on Russian gas,” he added.

Zuckerman said that that Romania’s business and investment climate must be improved to attract more investments: “These improvements are extraordinarily important to fostering the domestic and foreign investment climate necessary for projects such as this one to move forward. The security of this region, and achieving energy diversity, are critical U.S. interests and major areas of U.S.-Romanian cooperation.  Romania is a vital NATO Ally in Central Europe and along with Poland, it forms the linchpin of the Eastern Flank.  It supports our mutual security and a Black Sea region free of aggression.”

According to the U.S. ambassador, with an estimated annual output of one billion cubic meters, BSOG’s Midia Gas Development will contribute to energy security by ensuring diversification of sources of gas and reducing dependence on Russian gas imports.

“The United States remains committed to supporting Romania’s national security, which rests on its energy security. BSOG will play a significant role as a natural gas producer and contributor to regional energy security. This project continues to require trust and mutual commitment – from the country and from the investor. Romania has shown its commitment to a strategic infrastructure that will diversify natural gas sources, including the Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Austria or BRUA pipeline and the pipeline that will feed the gas from BSOG’s onshore gas treatment plant into the system.

America and the American people support you and appreciate every milestone you reach on the journey that is the Romanian renaissance.  BSOG is not just laying pipe today.  This pipe is essential infrastructure for guaranteeing Romania’s future prosperity, the security of this nation and that of its neighbors.”

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