ADRIAN VOLINTIRU, CEO:

"Romgaz has not abandoned any investment project during the pandemic"

22 iun. 2020 English Section
Mihai Gongoroi

The National Natural Gas Company "Romgaz" SA did not abandon any investment project during the Covid 19 crisis, despite the fact that the company's short-term forecasts regarding the gas market are not extremely optimistic, said Adrian Volintiru, the general manager of the company, in an interview. He does not hide that the current period is a difficult one for Romgaz, given the long-term effects of GEO 114/2018, which capped gas prices for producers, and the coronavirus pandemic. Mr Volintiru added that Romgaz continues to focus on diversifying its business and continuing to invest.

Besides, Romgaz has approved, an investment strategy of 15.69 billion lei by 2025, and a third of the budget goes to the specific activity of the company - onshore research and exploration -, while the rest goes into other possible partnerships in gas-based thermal power plants. a methanol plant, but also possible investments in renewables. A market study on the latter has been initiated.

Adrian Volintiru also specified that a GEO is being prepared to re-regulate the situation on the gas market so that the ANRE order that requires producers to sell gas below cost price no longer applies. The company is awaiting the final form of this Emergency Ordinance.

The general manager of Romgaz also pointed out that there is a surplus of natural gas supply in the market, due to the mild winter and the gas that is still in storage, and consequently a drop in output is foreseen in the near term. Romgaz must ensure in particular that it has projects on the Romanian market, says Adrian Volintiru, and he further said that Romania needs investments for recovery. Volintiru also said that he is not aware of any discussions about additional dividends yet.

According to the general manager of Romgaz, the company withdrew from the LNG terminal project in Alexandroupolis, Greece, due to the difficult context of the gas market, as it preferred to focus on investments in Romania. Regarding the talks with ExxonMobil regarding the sale of the 50% stake that the Americans have in the Neptun Deep project in the Black Sea, Adrian Volintiru said that the talks have been postponed, and they will resume either this year, or in the beginning of the next.

The company's management is not considering attracting funds through the stock exchange at the moment, but once the company gets a rating - a project postponed due to the pandemic - Romgaz will also look at accessing financing through the capital market.


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