While many countries are facing issues with rising gas prices, Romania’s gas availability is promising a bright future toward energy independence. 

Over the past months, the EU has imposed economic sanctions on Russia in response to the attack on Ukraine. One of these sanctions bans EU nations from importing certain types of Russian oil and gas. This embargo was imposed to significantly impact Russia’s fossil fuel revenues, which are assisting to fund the war on Ukraine.

Until recently, the EU has been significantly dependent on Russian oil and gas, with two-fifths of European gas consumed coming from Russia in 2021. Now, most EU countries are turning to LNG (liquified natural gas) coming from the US, Qatar, Algeria and Nigeria. Their diversification away from Russian fossil fuels also includes domestic production imports from Norway, which now accounts for much of Europe’s fuel.

Romania – one of the least affected countries

Romania is one of Europe’s largest natural gas producers, separating it from more vulnerable countries such as Hungary and Slovakia in terms of this vital natural resource. According to Energy Minister Virgil Popescu, the natural gas storage capacity in Romania is 97.75% full, which is why he doesn’t want citizens to worry this winter. 

For the first time in 15 months, the spot price of gas (the cost of 1 million BTU) was only around EUR 40 in November, according to Profit.ro.

Razvan Popescu, general director of the largest natural gas producer in Romania, Romgaz, says, “Romania is very well positioned; it’s one of the last countries in Europe that actually has gas.”

A major feature of Romania’s winter so far has been the warm weather, which will undoubtedly result in lower national average consumption. Overall, there are no major issues concerning natural gas availability and prices in this country. 

“I think that Romania will pass the winter with no problems”

Popescu

The future of oil and gas production in Romania

Romgaz has recently acquired 50% of the Neptun Deep perimeter, the offshore natural gas and oil exploration platform in the Black Sea. Since the Romanian state holds 70% of Romgaz shares, this acquisition will help Romania become more energy independent.

Popescu agrees: “The Romanian economy will benefit enormously from Romgaz exploration and not only through the fact that we will become energy independent but also through the supply chain production which will increase.”

Popescu predicts the first usable gas from the Black Sea perimeter will be available in December 2026.

Even though the energy market in Romania is expanding, natural gas businesses such as Romgaz face many challenges. From previous exploitation which forces companies to dig deeper into the crust, to rising prices for equipment and services, nothing in the gas industry is easy. 

Furthermore, the worldwide goal of decarbonisation has pushed our energy providers to be more energy efficient and look into renewable energy. “We are trying to change everything that emits CO2 and other associated gas with another way to do the work and the maintenance,” states Popescu. 

  “CO2 knows no man-made borders”

Popescu

Energy at AISB

Image by Andrei Margulescu

Even though we don’t feel any changes in our day-to-day school lives, Andrei Nica, Facilities Director at AISB shares that the facilities team is making major changes after school hours to implement AISB’s initiative to cut down energy usage. 

Their efforts have proved very successful since energy consumption has dropped by around 22% since October 2022. Even though the energy price per kWh has increased by 40%, there has only been a 7% increase in the final price for AISB.  

The efforts and strategies of forward-thinking individuals and companies should help alleviate our fears about the significant and real concerns about oil and gas production, consumption and pricing across Europe.

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