Romgaz, ready to take over ExxonMobil’s participation in the Neptun Deep gas project; internal and external financiers are in favor of this

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By Emea Riga
Romgaz is ready to take over ExxonMobil’s participation in the Neptun Deep, the project in the Black Sea, and the financing method will be a mixed one, consisting of its own sources and attracted sources, said on Tuesday, Aristotle Jude, general manager of Romgaz, in a press conference.
“On March 31, we submitted an offer to take over ExxonMobil’s participation in the Neptun Deep perimeter. The procedure is organized by an intermediary bank and we are waiting for the answer as soon as possible. If our offer is considered attractive, we will negotiate the contract to take over this participation. “Jude said.
“Romgaz is ready to provide through a consortium of banks the necessary financing for the realization of this project. So, we will ensure the payment of the participation both from our own sources and from the ducts attracted, conditioned, of course, by the acceptance of the offer”, continued the general manager. .
Jude pointed out that Romgaz is also considering a bond issue.
Asked if he can confirm the amount published in the press, of 900 million euros, as Romgaz’s offer to Exxon, Jude answered: “I cannot confirm such an amount, I do not understand where such an amount came from. It is the right of journalists , but it is certainly not the one we have advanced. ”
He specified that Romgaz is ready to take over this project.
“The company is ready for such a project and we are confident that Romgaz’s corporate life will change. This is the first time that such large financing will be attracted, we are making all the changes to prepare, we are adapting our development strategy. Romgaz, “Jude continued.
He added that he also had talks with OMV Petrom and that there are no problems regarding the collaboration between the two companies.
In his turn, Răzvan Popescu, the financial director of the company, showed that this project aroused great interest among banks, and during this period there is a high level of liquidity in the financial market, which could benefit the company for this project.
“The interest of the banks has been unexpectedly high. The financing part will be conditioned by the acceptance of the offer, but also by how, in what jurisdiction, in what currency, there are more details from the share purchase agreement for which we will have to adapt. calculation of a mix of financing, own sources, syndicated credit and bond issues especially to finance the future capex “, he showed.
The financial director specified that at this moment the company is analyzing all the possibilities that exist on the market.
“This project will lead to a new Romgaz. At this moment, because the financial markets are so timely and there is liquidity in the market, for us this would create an extraordinary gap in the five years,” Popescu said.
Romgaz representatives also said that their offer was not influenced by potential legislative changes, referring to the discussions on the amendment of the Offshore Law, expected by the other Black Sea investors.
Asked when the investment decision for the extraction of gas from that project would be made, Jude replied: “Given that Romgaz’s offer will be accepted, we are ready for all decisions for this project to be a success. It is a strategic objective that will bring great benefits both to the country and to the companies that will implement it “.
Jude pointed out that he has no information on whether or not there are competitors in the process of taking over Exxon’s stake in the Neptune Deep project.
Currently, ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom are equal partners in the deep-sea Neptun Deep project, where exploration has revealed deposits estimated at 42-84 billion cubic meters. For comparison, Romania produced 9.2 billion cubic meters last year.
ExxonMobil announced its intention to leave Romania, and OMV Petrom stated that it is possible to take the decision to invest in the Neptun Deep project next year, depending on the legislative changes in Romania and the market situation.

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