By Edwig Ban
The general manager of the OMV AG Group, Rainer Seele, said on Thursday that the Neptun offshore project in Romania will undergo a new postponement, one of the reasons being the announcement of the American ExxonMobil group to sell the 50% stake in this project, reports the APA news agency.
ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom explore the Neptune deep-sea deposits in the Black Sea, estimated at 42 to 84 billion cubic meters of gas. The two companies have equal shares in the project, and the final investment decision for the extraction of resources has not yet been taken.
Rainer Seele stressed, however, that the sale of ExxonMobil’s shareholding is still in a preliminary stage and no new partners have emerged yet.
“Even OMV Petrom did not inform me, on this subject, if they are interested in taking over this participation,” Seele said.
The head of OMV said that his concerns regarding the existing legal framework in Romania regarding the Neptune project are currently ‘somewhat alleviated’ and that he proceeds from the hypothesis that the final investment decision will be taken within a year of when modifying the offshore law.
So far, $ 1.5 billion has been invested in the Neptune project, half of which is OMV.
Last days, the Romanian Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment initiated a draft ordinance for amending the Oil Law, so that no transfer or sale of shares in oil agreements could no longer be possible without Government approval.
‘The competent authority may refuse, for reasons of national security, the concession and execution of oil operations for the exploration, development and exploitation of an oil field by legal persons who are effectively controlled by third countries of the European Union or by third-country nationals of the European Union. In the case of the oil agreements in force, at the proposal of the competent authority, the Government, for reasons of national security, can approve the termination of the oil agreement ‘, shows the text of the ordinance.
By Edwig Ban