Vienna, October 26 - Neftegaz.RU. OMV, one of the Black Sea oil blocks concessionaires, alongside ExxonMobil, has announced that it will decide whether or not to invest in offshore operations in the Black Sea in 2019. According to CEO Rainer Seele, the delay was caused by the late adoption of the Offshore Law.
The exploration of the Black Sea Neptun block is a joint venture between OMV’s Romanian subsidiary OMV Petrom and US energy giant ExxonMobil and includes the first deep-water exploration well in Romanian waters
«We cannot make the decision to invest in Petrom (part of the OMV Group) this quarter, as we have planned» , Rainer Seele said, according to Reuters. He also said that OMV must 1st of all assess the conditions in which it would make investments worth billions of euros. As the assessment will last, the decision to invest or not in the Romanian offshore exits will be made in 2019.
Rainer Seele also voiced concern that, under the Offshore Law, oil companies will be forced to sell 50% of their production on the Romanian market. «We are very concerned about the fact that there are restrictions on the sale of gas. Freedom on the market is very important», the OMV CEO said.
The Chamber of Deputies adopted on Wednesday, as a decision-making body, the draft Offshore Law. According to the latest data from the Ministry of Finance, exploitation would be more advantageous for companies than for the Romanian state.
Unlike other countries in the region, Romania is almost entirely energy independent, importing less than 10 % of its gas needs from Russia, with the rest produced locally – largely by state-owned Romgaz and OMV Petrom.