For some time now, there has been a great deal of debate both in politics as well as the press and the Romanian society about the natural gas potential from the deepwater offshore perimeters pertaining to the Romanian exclusive economic zone in the Black Sea.
The debate and emotions focus especially on the sharing of profits between the state and the investors, different opinions being bandied about in the public space – sometimes quite radical – regarding the conditions in which these investments should be carried, the resource potential of the offshore Romanian sector, the exploitation of the resulted natural gas, etc.
This study’s purpose is to provide data and arguments for a realistic assessment of the risks that are taken into consideration when making investment decisions in deepwater offshore projects, as well as in the smooth development of petroleum contracts throughout the concessions’ duration. Even though the fiscal terms play an essential role, there is a series of other risk factors that must be taken into account.
The authors’ firm belief is that the development of the natural gas offshore sector is a historic occasion for Romania, with important benefits from an economic, political and energy security standpoint. The national production of natural gas is facing an accentuated decline of the reserve-replacement ratio, which means that, absent new deposits being put into production, the import dependency will grow from one year to another, and the supply security will be increasingly difficult to ensure. Under these conditions, adopting a fair and stable regulatory framework for offshore operations to allow the initiation of development and production works is a must for the national economy. The future of a fundamentally important economic sector for Romania depends on the political decision which is to be made in the following weeks and months.