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EnerMin: Recent Black Sea gas discoveries to bring region into global energy industry's attention

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virgil popescu

Following Turkey and Bulgaria's recent Black Sea gas discoveries, the global energy sector will turn its attention to this region, Minister of Economy, Energy and Business Environment Virgil Popescu said on Monday in the opening of the FOREN 2020 online conference.

"Here in Romania, when we talk about energy, we talk about energy security, ie oil, gas and electricity. Things are simple when it comes to oil, we have onshore reserves, anyone can buy oil by ship, at sea. But when we talk gas, things are more complicated, we are talking about geopolitics," the official said.

He went on to remind that Romania has onshore gas reserves and has also recently discovered new deposits in the Black Sea.

"We are very happy that our Turkish friends have discovered gas in the Black Sea, as well as the Bulgarians; we are proud to be in the Black Sea region, and the Black Sea offers new gas resources. The attention of the energy world, of the energy industry will turn to the Black Sea," Popescu said.

What he however failed to mention is that due to the Romanian law, the investors who struck important gas deposits in Romania's Black Sea waters, specifically ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom, have been postponing for more than two years now a decision regarding the extraction of these resources.

Popescu has repeatedly stated in the past that the government will not change the energy legislative framework, which is the responsibility of Parliament, where there is currently no political consensus on the subject.

"As far as electricity is concerned, in the context of the Green Deal, we need to resize our energy production. We have a good mix, but 25 percent comes from coal, we need to find transition fuel. Gas is the most suitable fuel for transition," Popescu said in the opening of FOREN.

He also mentioned Romania's potential in the offshore wind sector.

"We need to produce electricity from renewable sources, and in the Black Sea we have, apart from gas, offshore wind potential. One of our directions is to build offshore wind farms, like those in the North Sea," Popescu said.

According to the Energy Minister, achieving these targets requires money and there are three financing possibilities for this: the Modernization Fund, the Transition Fund, and the Recovery Fund intended to help countries in need of support overcome the pandemic period.

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