Update: PSD files amendments to offshore bill, oil companies leave parliamentary committee’s sitting in protest. ALDE’s Gerea: Interest to continue imports from Russia

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The Social-Democratic Party has filed on Tuesday several amendments to the offshore bill, shortly before the start of debates by the Chamber of Deputies Committee for Industry, amendments handed by PSD Chairman, Liviu Dragnea, capital.ro informs, quoting G4Media.ro.

The representatives of the oil companies involved in the Black Sea (Exxon, OMV Petrom, Black Sea Oil & Gas) have left the committee’s sitting, as protest because they are not allowed to support their points of view, the same source informs.

The amendments filed on Tuesday fundamentally change the bill against the variant adopted by the Senate last week, as it increases the taxes to be paid by the companies involved in natural gas extraction from the Black Sea (article 19).

The tax on supplementary revenues from the offshore exploitations has been increased and the deduction for the investments has been capped to 30% of the tax on offshore supplementary revenues. Furthermore, the amendments substantially change the process of licensing the pipelines, which would slow down the projects (article 8).

The provisions on fiscal stability are also to be radically amended (articles 20 and 21) the same source reads.

The last minute amendments come after the talks between Liviu Dragnea and the US Secretary for Energy, Rick Perry, about the offshore bill.

The companies involved in the Black Sea are:

  • OMV Petrom and ExxonMobil –Neptun Deep block
  • Lukoil, PanAtlantic petroleum and Romgaz – Trident block
  • Black Sea Oil&Gas – Midia and Pelican blocks;
  • Petromar Rerources – Muridava and Est Cobalcescu blocks.

ALDE’s Gerea: Interest to continue imports from Russia

Andrei Gerea, ALDE Vice-Chairman, former Economy Minister, has criticized on Tuesday the PSD decision to amend to offshore bill without consultations.

“The interests are related to continuing the imports from Russia and to put on hold the start of works in the Black Sea,” Gerea said for Realitatea TV private broadcaster.

“The amendments today mean that someone does not want to exploit the gas in the Black Sea, actually someone wants to continue the imports from Russia. Actually we are closing the issue, we leave the exploitations in the Black Sea without any chance,” the ALDE representative said.

He warned that if the amendments suggested by PSD on Tuesday will go to the final vote, ALDE’s vote will be against.

The ALDE Deputies with the Industry Committee of the Chamber of Deputies left the debates on Tuesday in protest against the amendments filed by PSD.

The Senate plenary adopted last Monday the offshore draft bill with the amendments proposed on the same day by the PSD and ALDE representatives in the parliamentary committees.

The draft law was adopted with 81 votes for, 9 against and 15 abstentions. The draft will further on reach the Chamber of Deputies, the decisional chamber.

One of the most important amendments read that the current royalties are to be applied for the petroleum output in the Black Sea. Another amendment read that, during the entire period of oil agreements, decades ahead, the royalties’ regime and the tax regime will not be changed. Investments made before and after the bill comes into force will be deducted.

The reporting commissions – on economy and energy – have determined that the investor can deduct a maximum of 60% of the additional income from the investment made.


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