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EnergyMin: Offshore law, most important step in Romania's energy independence

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Virgil Popescu

The offshore law, adopted by the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday, as decision-making forum, is the most important step towards Romania's energy independence, Energy Minister Virgil Popescu says.

"Today we have voted in the Chamber of Deputies, alongside a wide majority, the Offshore Law. It is maybe a step - the most important - that we make towards energy independence. In fact we can say that once the investments starts in the Black Sea, Romania will become independent energy-wise, we'll produce more natural gas than we consume, and the natural gas surplus can be delivered abroad," Virgil Popescu said at Parliament.

According to the minister, Romania can become a supplier of regional energy security.

"The law brings stability and predictability, a friendly taxation environment and I am positive that it will help investors decide to invest. Moreover, it protects Romania's national interests - in case of energy crisis we can intervene and redirect gas to domestic consumption and, also, imposes a control over bilateral contracts. (...) I believe it is a law in which both the state and the investors have to win and we expect investment decision can be made," Virgil Popescu also added.

He maintained that "no one ever sells under a cost price, starting from the good faith principle."

"Romania gains from the royalty - which is somewhere at 13 percent - from the additional revenue tax, Romania gains from the profit tax of companies, from the number of jobs that will be created. The state budget gains from the labour force tax and I believe the most important thing - Romania becomes independent energy-wise, and we'll no longer have problems of natural gas supply," Virgil Popescu argued.

The Chamber of Deputies adopted the offshore draft law by 248 to 34.

The draft is meant to regulate a set of measures on the stability of the taxation regime and oil royalties. AGERPRES

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