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Total, ExxonMobil, Chevron and Lukoil race to drill for Romanian oil and ga

About 24 international energy groups are fighting for the right to drill for oil and gas in 30 perimeters in the Black Sea, south and west Romania, in unprecedented auctions organised by the National Agency for Mineral Resources (ANRM)

June 2010 - From the Print Edition

USA’s ExxonMobil and Chevron, France’s Total, Russia’s LukOil Overseas, Spain’s Repsol Exploracion, UK’s Melrose Resources, Kazakhstan’s Rompetrol, Austria’s OMV-owned Petrom, Romania’s Romgaz and Hungary’s Mol are competing for the perimeters, which are each over an area of around 1,000 square kilometres.
This public tender is the largest ever organised by ANRM in the last 20 years.
Winning bidders need to invest at least 100 million Euro in exploring the blocks and several 100 millions of Euro in exploitation, according to the Agency.
The winners will not need to pay for a license to drill, as the state will instead reap benefits from the royalties of the resources exploited.
Some of the most desired perimeters in the Black Sea set for auction are part of the area that Romania won in the International Court of Justice in the Hague in 2009, following a 40-year long dispute with Ukraine over the energy-rich waters surrounding a rock called Serpents’ Island.
Petrom and Romania’s Romgaz currently have the rights to mine on the vast majority of perimeters in Romania, while 15 smaller companies also have the right to access fields.
Existing perimeters in the Black Sea between the new concessions are currently licensed to Petrom, ExxonMobil with Petrom and Canadian firm Sterling Resources.

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