ExxonMobil could extract about 6.3 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the Black Sea, Richard Tusker, the representative of ExxonMobil Romania, said on Monday, on the occasion of the forum ‘Romania’s Presidency at the EU Council: Challenges and Opportunities for the Energy Sector’. This quantity represents more than half of Romania’s current gas production, which is about 11 billion cubic meters per year, hotnews.ro informs.
ExxonMobil would make the final investment decision in the Black Sea in the coming period. The law on offshore oil operations could receive the final vote in the Chamber of Deputies (the decision-making chamber) this week, with the Parliament being in extraordinary session. The law should have entered the final debates on Tuesday in the Industry Committee and then in the plenary of the Chamber of Deputies. Finally, the talks on the text of the law have been postponed for the next week when the extraordinary session rakes place.
The new figures come as several disputes surfaced lately regarding the exploitation of the Blas Sea gas.
Last week, a less common press conference took place in Bucharest, organised by the Hungarian gas transmission operator, FGSZ.
FGSZ head, Kristof Terhes, launched several provocative messages regarding the output of natural gas in the Black Sea, the gas consumption in Romania and the interconnection with the BRHA pipeline. Let’s recall that in 2017 Hungary unilaterally decided that the building of BRHA pipeline will not go further to interconnect with Austria, as the initial project said, and to redirect the gas to neighbouring countries. Following an auction in December last year, the gas transmission capacity of BRHA pipeline has been booked by two Hungarian companies until 2037.
The FGSZ manager said the Black Sea gas production will reach Hungary, from there on to Slovakia and indirectly to Austria, with supplies to Ukraine, Serbia and Croatia as well. The message is that the distribution of the Romanian gas will take place in Hungary.
He ironically said Romania does not have the capacity to consume the gas from the Black Sea, as there is no petro-chemical industry and the population is connected to the gas network in a share of 30-35%, whereas in Hungary the share is 95%.
“You don’t have petro-chemical industry, you can’t use the gas as raw material. What are you going to do with the gas? Burn it, make a big fire?” Kristof Terhes asked.