Romania plans to spur offshore gas output with tax tweaks

Andra Timu and Irina Vilcu 4/15/2022

(Bloomberg) — Romania is moving ahead with a plan to unlock stalled natural gas projects in the Black Sea as Europe searches for new energy resources to cut reliance on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.

The country’s ruling coalition has reached an agreement on a long-delayed bill amending the country’s offshore law to boost investments and unlock stalled gas production projects in the Black Sea. The planned changes are set to reduce the progressive taxation brackets and allow larger deductions to spur investments. 

Lawmakers may fast track the bill after Carlyle-backed Black Sea Oil & Gas SRL said it is ready to start production as soon as the law is in place, with about 1 billion cubic meters of gas expected to be delivered annually. The bill will be submitted for parliament approval on Friday, according to ruling Social Democratic party leader Marcel Ciolacu. 

A much larger project, the Neptun block operated by OMV Petrom is also poised to move forward. Petrom has said that a final investment decision may be taken early next year, with production starting four years later. The deposit, estimated to hold 100 billion cubic meters of gas, could ensure the nation’s full independence from Russian supplies. 

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