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EPP MEP Ramona Mănescu: How can the offshore law be an opportunity for Romania

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Owning natural resources and having a legislation favorable to its exploitation does not necessarily bring welfare and benefits, EPP MEP Ramona Mănescu writes in an analysis for DCNews.ro explaining the strategic importance of this issue.

Foto: ramona-manescu.ro

„The gas reserves discovered and confirmed in three of Romania’s perimeters (Midia and Pelican, both in shallow waters, leased by Black Sea Oil & Gas and the deep-sea Neptune Deep perimeter, leased by ExxonMobil together with OMV Petrom) are estimated at 200 BCM of gas.

At a current average price of $ 6.5 / MMBt, the market value of 200 BCM of gas rises up to ~ $ 47 billion or € 40 billion. The current estimates of the World Bank on the price evolution of this resource show a steady increase for the coming years, which would add an additional $ 3.6 billion in 2022 and even $ 11 billion in 2030.

Looking at these figures, we realize the implications for the national budget and the horizontal economy. Any percentage negotiated up or down to the royalties, taxes and fees system translates into hundreds of millions of dollars.

At the same time, taking into account that the volume of gas consumption in Romania is ~ 11 BCM/year it is obvious the effect: Romania has ensured itsenergy independence for the next decades. Moreover, Romania becomes a real regional energy hub, a net contributor to the energy independence of an entire region, which today is totally dependent on Gazprom and the benevolence of the Kremlin.”, explains Mănescu.

According to the MEP, the legislative text that received the green light from Parliament is „coherent and balanced”.

„A strong point of Romanian law is the clause of maintaining commitments and the stability of payments / fees / costsdeduction and the long-term debt servicing for investors. For large investments, such as those required by offshore exploitation, stability and predictability are essential conditions.”, the MEP explained.

What else should be done?

„I believe that having natural resources and a good exploitation law does not necessarily bring sustainable welfare and benefits.

We are fortunate to be able to design projects and also have the resources to implement them. Black Sea gas needs to primarilyreach the 2,268 administrative units which in 2016 were not yet connected to a gas network.

Furthermore, the natural gas can offer a solution to the problem of coal-fired power stations, for which we have no solutions for the moment. They are a major environmental issue that can be solved by replacing them with gas-powered ones by 2025 – the deadline when the new targets for pollution at European level will come into force.

A third direction in which Romania should encourage projects is the petrochemical industry. The petrochemical sector is at the heart of a developed economy and it has a complex impact on the entire socio-economic system, from education and research to exports and the horizontal industry. The collapse of this sector’s production in Romania, after 1989, is in contradiction with global developments. Romania still has a human resources base and industrial units that can be used to relaunch the petrochemical sector. Local processing of raw materials vs. their export offers maximum benefits to an economy. For Romania it is also an opportunity to have a complex and sustainable development on medium and long term, complementing the IT sector and the automotive industry.

Of course, for all of this, there must be the associated transport and gas storage infrastructure. Gas is brought to shore as a result of the investment effort of operating companies, but it is our interest and duty to ensure distribution in the territory. We have the institutional capacity – Romanian companies proved that can carry out major projects in the field and we have the resources needed to make such investments”, Mănescu wrote.

Romania’s state-owned monopoly Transgaz will invest EUR 360 million in Tuzla-Podisor pipeline, a key project designed to connect the offshore natural gas facilities at the Black Sea to the international pipeline Bulgaria-Romania-Hungary-Austria (BRUA).

According to Transgaz board’s half year report, the 308 km Tuzla-Podisor pipeline will ensure the transport of offshore natural gas to Hungary and Bulgaria, as it is the missing link between offshore facilities and the BRUA pipeline.

 

 

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MEP Vasile Blaga: We cannot achieve the green economy goal without gas and nuclear energy as transitional fuels

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© Vasile Blaga / Facebook

MEP Vasile Blaga (PNL, EPP) argues that the goal of a green economy cannot be achieved without gas and nuclear energy as transition fuels. He also said it isimportant for Romania to support the European Commission’s proposal to include gas and nuclear energy on the list of transitional fuels.

According to the MEP, Romania, both through the voice of President Iohannis and Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă, has taken a position in favour of the European Commission’s proposal to include gas and nuclear energy on the list of transitional fuels.

“The context of the war in Ukraine, however, has given rise to voices in the European Parliament but also in other quarters who argue that the inclusion of gas in the delegated act would directly support Russia and its gas exports,” he added.

“It is an interpretation that creates a causal chain between two elements that are only circumstantially connected. The fact that gas is still considered a transition fuel to green energy does not mean that there is no gas other than that imported from Russia. Basically, the conflict in Ukraine is being used as an opportunity to reject a balanced and moderate vision of the transition to green energy”, said the Romanian MEP for www.caleaeuropeana.ro.

“Some colleagues who already had a position contrary to that of the Commission saw the conflict in Ukraine as an opportunity to argue. It is categorically false. We cannot achieve the goal of a green economy without gas and nuclear energy as transitional fuels. In any case, it is in Romania’s direct interest to support the European Commission’s proposal”, concluded MEP Vasile Blaga.

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MEP Vasile Blaga: Ukraine and Moldova will be part of the European family

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© Vasile Blaga/Facebook

MEP Vasile Blaga (PNL, EPP) welcomes the fact that the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine have obtained the status of candidate states: “It represents the certainty that both will be members of the European Union, a huge step for the two candidate states, but also for the European Union.”

According to the MEP, the vote in the European Parliament and the decision in the Council say one thing: “the decisions are not symbolic gestures of consolation but certify that Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova will be part of the European family.”

He draws attention to the pro-Russian rhetoric that downplays the impact of these decisions: “To those who promote these ideas we say simply: the road of Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova is a one-way street. At the end of the road lies integration into the European Union. It is, of course, a road that will require sustained efforts on the part of both candidate countries, but also on the part of the EU institutions.”

“Romania has used all institutional means to ensure that the Republic of Moldova is not decoupled from Ukraine in this decision. It was vital that the two states were granted the status of candidates for EU membership as a package. This is an extraordinary outcome that is well worth mentioning”, he added.

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MEP Vasile Blaga supports a fair green transition for Romania: Gas and nuclear energy must be considered transitory

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© Vasile Blaga / Facebook

MEP Vasile Blaga (PNL, EPP) reaffirms his support for a fair green transition for Romania, in which gas and nuclear energy are accepted in order to achieve the objectives set by the European Ecological Pact.

The European Parliament hosted yesterday, 30 May, a public hearing whose guests were several experts who debated, together with members of the two committees ECON and ENVI, the inclusion of gas and nuclear energy in the taxonomy of the European Union. Many of the opinions expressed push the debate towards a rejection of the European Commission’s proposal of March whereby nuclear energy and gas are considered, under certain conditions, green.

I reaffirm my support for the version proposed by the European Commission. There are many reasons why gas and nuclear energy should be considered transitional in order to achieve the objectives set by the European Green Pact. One of the reasons, and perhaps the most important one, relates to the realities on the ground in each Member State. France has a significant share of nuclear power, just as Germany is heavily dependent on gas. The decisions that the European Union needs to implement in order to achieve the objectives – already set and agreed by all Member States – need to be balanced first and foremost”, EPP MEP Vasile Blaga told European Way.

“Countries like Romania or Poland need a realistic transition towards the targets set by the Green Pact. Cohesion and solidarity in the European Union means that each Member State must take into account the other and, as a whole, decisions must not ignore any reality, be it further West or further East”, added the EPP MEP.

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