Romania, Russia to continue negotiations over gas joint stock

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Negotiations between Romania’s national natural gas corporation Romgaz and officials of the Russian natural gas corporation Gazprom will continue in the period immediately ahead, Gazprom Deputy Chairman Aleksandr Medvedev said on Wednesday in Bucharest at the end of a meeting with Romanian Minister of Economy and Commerce Adriean Videanu.

The Wednesday’s talks, where also attending were Romgaz Director Marcel Piteiu and Transgaz Director Florin Muntean, focused on the establishment of a Romgaz-Gazprom joint stock that will be set up to develop natural gas storage facilities and to build the Roman-Margineni gas storage facility in Romania, which feasibility study has cost 2 million euros.

Romgaz should have presented to Gazprom last year technical data on the natural gas storage facilities that would make the object of the agreement between the two corporations on the establishment of the Romanian-Russian joint stock. The storage facilities should be 250 km away from the transit pipeline, according to Romgaz specialists.

Romgaz Director Pietiu says that a team of Russian technicians is expected back to Romania this March and the storage locations will be agreed upon depending on their decisions.
In early June 2009, Videanu said that the total storage capacity Romgaz and Gazprom may develop together could stand at five-six billion cubic metres of natural gas.
‘The storage capacity Romgaz and Gazprom might develop together could stand at five-six billion cubic metres of natural gas.

The Roman-Margineni facility may store over 2 billion cubic metres. To Romgaz and Gazprom, the Roman-Margineni storage facility is part of the potential cooperation between the two corporations. The 5-6 billion cubic metres of natural gas would be enough for Romania,’ said Videanu. Cooperation between Romgaz and Gazprom is aimed at bringing Russian gas closer to the European Union and trading it in wintertime.

Romgaz received a memorandum of cooperation from Gazprom in late May 2009, and Romania invited Russia to join it in building electricity facilities in the country. Videanu said back then that direct contracts for Russian gas imports could also be concluded. Romania and Russia concluded their first cooperation agreement after 1989 under which all areas of possible cooperation were inventoried, including the establishment of a joint stock company by Romgaz and Gazprom.

‘The joint stock will be 50 percent owned by Romgaz and 50 percent by Gazprom. Cooperation will consist of natural gas storage and trade by direct sale, as well as joint investments in co-generation,’ said Videanu. Romania is currently importing natural gas from the Russian Federation via the Russian-German company Wintershall.
Gazprom is the world’s largest natural gas producer. Europe is almost 25 percent dependent on Russia for natural gas, and 80 percent of Russian gas deliveries to Europe pass through Ukraine.

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