Razvan Nicolescu, the delegate minister of energy, said that we should not be surprised if companies investing in the exploration of oil and gas will announce discoveries of new deposits in the next period.

Nicolescu made an unannounced visit today at the building site of a EUR 25 million gas deposit in Urziceni. The deposit, which is managed by state-owned gas producer Romgaz has a storage capacity of 250 million cbm and should go up to 360 cbm following its ongoing expansion.

The department of energy said in a statement that the upgrading of the Urziceni facility should be completed at the end of August.

Nicolescu pointed out during his visit that Romania has to be “more ambitious” in enhancing its gas storage capacities.

“I am satisfied with the stocks (e.n of gas) for the winter of 2014-2012, and with the fact that we have reached the maximum production (over 30 cbm daily),” said Nicolescu in a statement.

“In addition, on the back of the preoccupation of the Romanian state in the recent period for encouraging the exploration and exploitation of natural resources, we should not be surprised if the hundreds of millions of euros that have been invested will generated results in the upcoming days, weeks or months, meaning new oil and gas discoveries,” he added.

At present the biggest exploration project is happening offshore Romania, where US-based oil major ExxonMobil and Austrian OMV Petrom are currently seeking resources. The companies announced in 2012 they had found their first deepwater deposit in the the Black Sea, estimated to contain between 42-82 bcm of gas.

Meanwhile, US oil major Chevron has announced earlier this week it finished the exploration of its first shale gas concession in eastern Romania.

Romania’s daily gas production amounts to 30 million cbm, while the consumption stands at 20 million cbm. Agri-business group Interagro and fertilizer maker Azomures cover 25 percent of the consumption.

The department of energy estimates Romania will have 2 bcm worth of gas in storage at the end of the injection period.

Ovidiu Posirca