Chamber of Deputies Speaker and PSD leader, Liviu Dragnea, said on Tuesday that he does not agree that all the Black Sea gas to be sold only on bilateral contracts. Dragnea mentioned the offshore law that is blocked in Parliament and should be adopted in the extraordinary session.
“Two objectives have to be considered and it is not a simple situation, because it is an extremely important strategic issue for Romania. On one hand to have financial gains and on the other to have what has not been much discussed in the public space, and it seems to me most important, that part of the Black Sea gas production is used for Romania’s development,” Dragnea said, hotnews.ro reports.
According to Dragnea, “the greatest risk is that all these rich natural resources will only transit through Romania and will contribute to the development of other countries. I’ve told my colleagues in the committee that I will not agree that all the Black Sea gas to be sold only on bilateral contracts. Such thing would not be accepted by any country. The big stake is what share of this production is sold on the market platform in Romania so that consumers in the country would have access,” the PSD leader said.
In the past two months, Liviu Dragnea had a series of meetings with the representatives of oil companies operating in the Black Sea, but also with US and European officials.
The bill on oil offshore operations, which is nearly completed by Parliament, contains two controversial articles that could lead to the launch of infringement proceedings by the European Commission, as highlighted in two addresses sent by the Ministry of Energy to the Chamber of Deputies’ industry committee.
According to the two addresses obtained by hotnews.ro, the two articles “represent an obstacle to the free movement of goods and is a means of arbitrary coercion in the selection of employees required to carry out offshore oil agreements”. However, the chairman of the committee, Iulian Iancu, insists that the provisions of these articles should be imposed, in one way or another, on oil companies operating in the Black Sea.
On Monday, Richard Tusker, the representative of ExxonMobil Romania, said that ExxonMobil could extract about 6.3 billion cubic meters of gas per year from the Black Sea. 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.