ExxonMobil, involved in the Neptun Deep offshore project in the Black Sea together with OMV Petrom, is looking for a new partner, Government representatives say, quoted by some sources.
The intention seems surprising, considering the US oil and gas company has the funds and technology to support the project and has already invested some USD 700 million in the project.
“They are looking for another investor, they want a third partner, but ExxonMobil will remain the operator. It is a long lasting process, it takes months for the National Agency for Mineral Resources (ANRM) to approve it and the new partner is entitled to see the figures,” government sources said, according to antena3.ro.
Other sources said that ExxonMobil informed the Romanian government and the ANRM that they want to eventually sell the license for the gas exploitation project in the Black Sea.
The ExxonMobil representatives did not want to comment.
An economic analyst says that ordinance 114 and the Offshore Law have led to problems for the investors in the oil and gas field, and the decision to attract another partner in the Neptun Deep project could be seen as an attempt to reduce the involvement and to transfer the participation to another company. He believes the offshore projects are regarded as uncertain, as the Offshore Law, promulgated in November 2018, has reduced the appetite in exploiting the Black Sea deposits. The law has frozen the taxes during the offshore production, but has maintained the level of 30% of the invested amounts that can be deducted for tax payments, so the fiscal framework is less attractive for exploiting gas in the Black Sea.
ExxonMobil Exploration, global leader in operating complex offshore projects, and OMV Petrom, Romania’s biggest oil company, launched in October 2014 a drilling campaign in the Romanian section of the Black Sea, the Pelican South-1 exploration well on a new prospect in the Neptun Block.
According to a press release, the exploration well is located about 155 km offshore. OMV Petrom is using the Ocean Endeavour Rig for the project. Earlier in October 2014, the Ocean Endeavour rig completed drilling the Domino-2 well and data from the well are being evaluated.
Initial estimates for the site were tallied up to between 1.5 trillion and 3 trillion cubic feet (42 billion cubic meters to 84 billion cubic meters) of gas accumulation.
Ministry of Energy issues to ExxonMobil license for geotechnical study in Tuzla
The Ministry of Energy has issued on Tuesday to ExxonMobil the license to carry out an onshore geotechnical study in Tuzla to build a gas measuring station, a press release issued by the ministry informs.
The site where drills and measurements will be made consists of three plots of land with a total area of over 200,000 square meters.
The license was issued following the request from ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Romania, and the works that the US company will carry out in Tuzla are valued at RON 2.1 million, VAT not included.