By Jerom Bolt
Romgaz, the largest natural gas producer in Romania, signed today the sale-purchase contract of all shares issued (representing 100% of the share capital) by ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Romania Limited (EMEPRL). EMEPRL owns 50% of the acquired rights and obligations assumed by the Oil Agreement for the eastern area, the deep water area, of the offshore perimeter XIX Neptune in the Black Sea. According to the assumed term, the actual gas extraction is to start in 2026.
The sale-purchase contract was approved at the Extraordinary General Meeting of Romgaz Shareholders on April 28, 2022, and the completion of the transaction is conditioned by the fulfillment of the conditions precedent in the contract. The purchase price paid by Romgaz will be $ 1,060,000,000, and can be adjusted according to the mechanisms provided in the share sale-purchase contract.
“The new offshore law being debated in Parliament is accelerating vital investments to secure natural gas resources. The vision for the development of the energy sector (…) will reposition Romania as an important regional player, able to ensure the necessary for the consumption of citizens and the economy and even become a provider of energy security in the region “, said Prime Minister Nicolae-Ionel Ciuca.
Towards the end of October, Romgaz announced that it had completed negotiations with the Americans from Exxon to take over a 50% stake in the Neptun Deep perimeter, thus becoming a partner with OMV Petrom in the largest local offshore energy project.
“In the current geopolitical context, we have no time to lose. We will make the necessary efforts to speed up the start of operation, to consume Romanian gas (…) Romania will have a surplus of natural gas, practically doubling its production far beyond the current needs of domestic consumption. And another very important aspect: our country will become a provider of regional energy security “, said the Minister of Energy, Virgil Popescu.
ExxonMobil, along with OMV Petrom, the company that owns the rest of the shares in Neptune Deep, has already invested $ 1.5 billion in the exploration phase. Shareholders have approved a 325m-euro loan from one or more banks to finance part of the transaction price. Also, the shareholders of the natural gas producer recently approved a dividend of 3.62 lei per share from the profit for 2021, with a yield of 8.6%.
The deep-sea Neptun Deep project, where exploration has revealed deposits estimated at 42-84 billion cubic meters, will be owned, in equal shares, by Romgaz SA OMV Petrom.
SNG shares are up 10% from the beginning of the year, on transactions of 250 million lei, according to data from the Bucharest Stock Exchange. The company has a market value of about 17 billion lei.
Romgaz’s net profit reached 1.9 billion lei in 2021, plus 53.5% compared to the previous year, and business reached 5.85 billion lei, up 43.6%, according to the report finance annually.
By Jerom Bolt