Premium article: Romania’s energy regulator gives green light to gas exports


ANRE, the National Energy Regulatory Authority, has repealed a law from 2011 banning gas exports, law that has triggered the infringement procedure by the European Commission

[cleeng_content id=”475683652″ description=”Buy this translation today. This article has 3132 characters with spaces. ” price=”4.99″ t=”article”]The Energy Regulatory Authority has repealed under an order a law dating from 2011 that banned gas exports, specifying that the entire domestic production must be consumed domestically. This order determined the European Commission to trigger the infringement procedure against Romania in November 2012. Under the European legislation, Member States are forced to ensure gas transmission through interconnection pipelines in both directions, import and export, the reason being the increased security of supply. The infringement procedure may lead to fines charged to the state, which violates the community provisions, but also to other penalties. For Romania, the minimum fine for infringement was set since the negotiations for accession, at EUR 1.8mln and penalties ranging between EUR 3,000 and EUR 135,000 for each day of delay in payment. “With the repeal of the joint order 1284/2011 of ANRE, MECMA and NAMR, we get off infringement and create the general framework for the law allowing gas export. Next, we will issue the implementation procedures on the secondary legislation”, Nicolae Havrilet, ANRE President, stated for The same order also provided that the gas mixture from the population’s basket had to contain at the largest extent only gas from domestic production, over twice cheaper than the Russian gas, as to keep unchanged gas prices for the population. With the repeal of this law, the mixture may change and gas prices could grow. Havrilet says however that ANRE can continue to authorize a mixture that includes mostly Romanian gas, even without the mentioned order, because it is legally established in its statute. Romanian gas export is currently possible only in theory. In practice, we don’t have yet a technical solution for gas exports to Hungary via Arad-Szeged pipeline, because there is a difference of pressure that prevents it, at least in the absence of a recompression station, “which would cost several millions of euros and its construction would take at least one year and a half”. In turn, in Bulgaria it’s possible from a technical point of view, but only after the completion of works at the Giurgiu-Ruse pipeline, estimated to be completed in July this year, according to Transgaz Director Ioan Rusu. Thus, at least theoretically, from this summer Romania can begin gas exports to Bulgaria if the local producers find interested clients in the neighboring country. Romania is one of the few countries in the region that own and exploit natural gas. For this reason our gas is much cheaper than the Russian gas, the main gas supplier for Central and South-Eastern Europe. Thus, Romanian gas producers, Petrom and Romgaz, would be competitive on the foreign markets and thus interested to sell abroad. The price of gas from domestic production, approved by ANRE, is around USD 180/TCM, while the price of gas imported from Russia is USD 420/TCM. On the other hand however, OMV Petrom officials have committed to the Government in Bucharest not to export gas, at least over a medium term. The promise of the oil company’s officials has been made during talks between the two parties which resulted in the cancellation of OMV Petrom’s previous obligation to import natural gas for the production of electricity of its own power plant, recently built in Brazi. [/cleeng_content]

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