Hungary complains of being betrayed by the Americans and Austrians in the Romanian offshore gas business.

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjardo said on Wednesday that Hungary has so far been kept in the dark by an American and Austrian company on the extraction of offshore fields from Romania, after a deal to purchase three billion cubic meters of gas. was already in place, but the project was finally stopped, he reported

Dispute between Romania and Hungary over gas from the Black Sea

In recent years, large deposits of natural gas have been discovered in the Romanian part of the Black Sea and have already been partially exploited. According to moderately optimistic estimates, this would be at least 40 billion cubic meters of gas, but could be as much as 200 billion – enough to meet Romania’s total needs in the coming decades and sell for export.

To transport this gas from the Black Sea to European countries, it was planned to build a pipeline under the project BRUA, from the initials of Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria. BRUA will be operational from 2019 onwards.

But as is often the case with such large international projects, there is already enough controversy in this matter. This is a Hungarian-Romanian dispute on the topic of Romanian legislation regarding offshore gas exploitation and the amount of gas delivered to Hungary through the BRUA pipeline.

In the summer of 2018, the head of the Hungarian Gas Transportation Network (FGSZ), Christoph Derhes, asked the Romanian authorities to accept the Offshore Exploitation Law and deliver the country’s desired amount of 4.4 billion cubic meters of gas per year to Hungary. Later, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjardo said that “Romania will endanger energy security in the region with its delays.”

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The Romanian side angrily rejected these accusations and some politicians and experts accused Budapest of not honoring the obligations assumed in the BRUA pipeline construction project. Deutsche Welle.

The Orbán government has decided not to build a pipeline connecting the BRUA project to the Austrian energy center Baumgarten. Budapest’s argument: Existing connections through Slovakia will be sufficient to transport gas further, the cited source writes.

Hungary complained to the Americans

3 years ago, Hungary pressured Romania to start natural gas exploitation in the Black Sea. Attending an event across the sea, Hungary’s head of diplomacy said there were four states that would free Europe from dependence on Russian gas, and Romania was among them.

Peter Szijjarto: I can tell you that there are four allies that depend on whether we can diversify our energy resources or not. Four Allies: USA, Romania, Croatia and Austria. Why? Because Romania has a large offshore gas deposit, for which Exxon of the United States and OMV of Austria have exploitation rights. Have you taken a final decision on infrastructure investment? No. Do we have the necessary infrastructure? Yes. What is not is the American-Austrian decision to exploit these gases and export them to Hungary. Of course, both American and Austrian companies are not satisfied with the Romanian law and they always complain about it.

Meanwhile, US giant ExxonMobil abandoned its investment and sold its stake in the Neptune Deep project in the Black Sea to Romgas.

Regarding the export of Romanian gas extracted from the Black Sea to Hungary, although the Hungarian Prime Minister announced that three Hungarian companies have received tenders for gas from Romania, the matter is currently frozen.

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“In the next 15 years, we will soon sign an agreement that will allow us to import four billion cubic meters of natural gas from Romania,” the Hungarian prime minister said two years ago.

After that, nothing happened.

Black Sea gas exploitation began

Romania wants an additional one billion cubic meters of gas starting next year, including extraction from the Black Sea, the energy minister, Virgil Popescu, announced.

“Romania will get gas from other sources, including the Black Sea, next winter. The exploitation of gases from the Black Sea by the Black Sea Oil and Gas Company has already started.

According to the Minister, people from Romgas are taking over the technology and the contracts to start the works from Exxon, so that by 2026 we already have natural gas, which will be used as much as possible in Romania.

Author: Liviu Kojan

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