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Romanian minister knows nothing about Exxon’s plans to pull out of Black Sea offshore project

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Christian Fernsby ▼ | July 31, 2019
ExxonMobil hasn’t informed the Energy Ministry of any intention to withdraw from the Black Sea natural gas exploration project or bring another partner into the project, energy minister Anton Anton said in a press conference, according to local Agerpres.
Anton Anton
European businesses   Anton Anton
“Exxon’s [Romania Country Manager Richard] Tusker did not contact us. Exxon sent us documentation to approve them doing geo-studies and drilling for the construction of a gas compression plant, and we gave them the approval,” said the energy minister.

U.S. oil and gas group ExxonMobil wants to pull out of the offshore gas project in Romania, local G4Media.ro reported on July 15. G4Media, quoting government and oil industry sources, informed at that time that representatives of U.S. group informed the Romanian Government and the National Agency for Mineral Resources – ANRM that they wanted to give access to other companies to information about the gas exploitation project in the Black Sea and eventually sell the license. Richard Tusker met with prime minister Viorica Dancila several days earlier.

ExxonMobil has invested some USD 700 million in the Neptun Deep project in Romania’s Black Sea section, which went mainly in drilling several exploration wells in the perimeter. ExxonMobil and OMV Petrom were supposed to decide on moving on with the commercial exploitation of this project by the end of 2018 but delayed their decision due to changes to the offshore law and new taxes the Government levied on the energy industry.