Romgaz places bid to buy ExxonMobil subsidiary in Romania

Romanian oil and gas company Romgaz has filed a takeover offer for ExxonMobil’s subsidiary in Romania which holds a share in a Black Sea offshore block.

Romgaz headquarters; Source: Romgaz

The oil major’s subsidiary, ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Romania Limited, holds a 50 per cent stake in the XIX Neptun Deep Block in the Black Sea. The other 50 per cent stake in the block is held by OMV Petrom.

The block covers an area of approximately 7,500 square kilometres in water depths ranging from 100-1,700 metres.

Romgaz said on Wednesday that the binding offer to acquire all shares of ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Romania Limited was submitted on Tuesday, 30 March 2021.

ExxonMobil has been present in Romania’s upstream sector since November 2008, when it acquired an interest in the deepwater Neptun Deep block in the Black Sea.

Location of XIX Neptune Deep; Source: OMV Petrom

Since the acquisition, the company acquired more than 3,000 square kilometres of 3D seismic data over Neptun Deep Block. In 2012, Domino-1, the first deepwater well in Romania located 170 kilometres offshore in 1,000 metres of water depth, confirmed the presence of natural gas. Regardless of the find, the block was never developed.

OMV Petrom, the partner in the XIX Neptun Deep Block, stated in one of its reports that the Black Sea currently ensures some 10 per cent of Romania’s gas demand. It is worth noting that the current fields have been producing for decades and are now approaching the end of their life.

OMV Petrom claimed that recent exploration activities indicated new reserves that could be brought to the surface to create value for the country.