Black Sea, Romania’s path to energy independence


The history of oil and gas operations in the Romanian waters of the Black Sea starts in 1969. Below are presented the most important stages in the development of the offshore production activities:oana

Romania has the capacity to become one of the great European powers in the energy sector due to oil and gas deposits in the Black Sea, much of it in deepwater where several companies have begun to explore. The big players like Total, OMV, Repsol, Turkish Petroleum Company (TPAO), Shell and ExxonMobil are all interested in what lies under the Black Sea. TPAO estimates there are up to ten billion barrels of oil in the region, and the various companies are working on several projects in different sections which are divided into „blocks”.

Romania currently imports 20% of energy needs, the other 80% are satisfied from own production of natural gas, oil, coal and nuclear power. It is estimated that Romania holds 1,400 billion cubic meters of shale gas, which ranks it on the third place in Europe and starting with 2019 will begin extraction of natural gas reserves located in the Black Sea, considered globally significant.

The gas resources discovered by Exxon Mobil and Lukoil are in amount to a maximum of 130 billion cubic meters. If this amount is fully exploited, which is unlikely, and to operate it profitable requires a production of 6 billion cubic meters per year, specialists said that will get a production which will be exhausted in 20 years. This production in the Black Sea overlaps with current production of on shore fields, 6 billion cubic meters per year, which has a constant decrease.

The exploration of the Black Sea will start when gas and oil prices will increase and if gas transportation system will be connected to international markets. One of the main reason is that demand in the country has decreased significantly and the investors which will extract the sea deposits need a market for the transportation of gas from maritime perimeters, which are quite far, from 150-200 kilometers from shore. According to these statements, in the medium and long term, energy future of Romania depends on the interconnection of gas and electricity, but also diversification. Experts believe that Romania will become independent in terms of energy by 2020, but the results could be seen over the decades due to the long process of exploitation and lack of infrastructure.

Will Romania become independent until 2020, as was expected?

by Oana Alexandra


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