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MP Iancu: Gazprom-OMV contemplates listing gas transactions with the Vienna Stock Exchange instead of Romania

iulian iancu

The Vienna Stock Exchange has sent two letters to the Romanian authorities showing interest in becoming the trading platform for the Romanian gas, which would be advantageous for Gazprom and OMV, Iulian Iancu, head of the Committee for industry and services of the Deputies' Chamber explained at a specialist conference.

He said this in the context in which the Committee for industry brought several amendments to the GEO No. 64/2016 regarding the modification of the gas law, according to which 70 per cent of the Romanian gas must be traded on the OPCOM (Romanian gas and electricity market operator) exchange, which made the Romanian Commodity Exchange (BRM), which also holds a license for trading gas, unhappy.

In his opinion, behind all the dissatisfaction of BRM is actually the fact that OMV and Gazprom want to move their transactions with Romanian gas to Vienna, so that Gazprom be able to bring to Romania a higher quantity of Russian gas. "I have to establish certain criteria that those who want to be platforms for trading gas have to comply with. However, if I establish these criteria, are you certain that Gazprom won't meet them immediately and bring a company from Vienna and from that moment the transactions from Romania will be carried out on the Russians' platform? Who will have the advantage then? This is a big trap. The Exchange (BRM - editor's note) is pushed forward because, unfortunately, we already have two requests from the Vienna Exchange to become the trading platform for the Romanian gas of Gazprom and OMV. And you will see then how Gazprom-OMV will trade the gas in Vienna, for I cannot oblige the producer to stay on OPCOM or the Romanian Exchange. The producer is doing whatever he wants on the market and he will do it in Vienna. Why did they write to us? Why do they have one single exchange, imposed by law, and want to be here too?" Iancu wondered.

He also said that the current license held by BRM is discriminatory against OPCOM, for the latter is obliged to be transparent and observe certain regulations, while the responsibility for this situation is bore by the market regulator, which is the National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE). Iancu also said that, if the Black Sea gas will not be exported, instead of being sold on the Romanian exchange, it will be like a blow to Romania's national security, while the Romanian consumer will be discriminated and Romania will be forced to import more gas from Gazprom.

The Committee for industry and services of the Deputies' Chamber, headed by Iulian Iancu, approved, as from the beginning of October, the GEO No. 64/2016, with the specifications that 70 per cent of the has production must be sold on the OPCOM exchange. One week ago, the Parliament Plenum returned the Committee's report, for the second time.

The European Commissioner for Energy, Miguel Canete, sent a letter to the Romanian authorities showing that the officials from Brussels do not agree with these amendments. In reply, Iancu said that, in his opinion, the letter sent by the Commissioner referred to something else. Also last week, Razvan Nicolescu, th former Minister of Energy, wrote on Facebook that the amendments brought by the Committee for industry is advantageous for Gazprom and that's why it was not accepted by the European Commission.



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