DIPLOMACY ECONOMY ENERGY POLITICS

Romanian ambassador to Washington summoned by U.S. Secretary of Energy following adoption of Offshore Law

Romanian Ambassador to Washington George Cristian Maior has met U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, against the backdrop in which the Romanian Parliament has adopted the Offshore Law and PSD leader Liviu Dragnea has announced that the law will be modified via emergency ordinance.

“On Wednesday, 25 July 2018, Romanian Ambassador to the U.S. George Cristian Maior had a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. On this occasion, the two interlocutors emphasised the major impact that the exploitation of Romania’s hydrocarbon resources has on regional energy security, as an important component for the development of the Strategic Partnership between the U.S. and Romania.

“In this context, American Secretary of Energy Rick Perry reaffirmed interest in the development of dialogue on energy topics, including on the occasion of the high-level Summit of the Three Seas Initiative, which will take place in Bucharest on 17-18 September 2018,” reads the communique released by the Romanian embassy in Washington.

PSD President Liviu Dragnea announced on Sunday evening that there are talks on the possible issuing of a Government ordinance on the Offshore Law, pointing out that the provisions of the legislative act are not well defined in its addendum and are not clear.

“What was adopted in the law must be put clearly and unequivocally in the addendum that includes the formula of calculus for the tax deductions of supplementary revenues. Namely, we are talking about the value of the investments that the law says it’s natural to be deducted, but it’s not very well clarified in the law. And not all investments are deducted at once, but in time, so that the Romanian state would collect money but, at the same time, the companies that invest would be able to stay above costs. The idea is that we need that natural gas, we need someone to drill it out, but those who do should not lose money and should also have the natural and necessary cash flow level. This is what the ordinance will have to include,” PSD leader Liviu Dragnea stated on Tuesday at the Palace of Parliament.

He added that he has already talked with Premier Viorica Dancila and Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici, with a discussion on this topic set to also take place with Energy Minister Anton Anton and Justice Minister Tudorel Toader.

On July 9, the House adopted the bill establishing measures for the drilling of Black Sea natural gas, with 175 votes in favour, 30 against and 30 abstentions. The House was the Chamber with the last say on this matter. The legislative initiative adopted by House lawmakers regulates the way drilling operations are to be implemented by the holders of agreements on off-shore drilling perimeters.

 

Teodor Melescanu informs what the US officials asked Romanian Ambassador to Washington George Maior

 

Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu stated on Saturday that U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry told Ambassador George Maior that Romanian authorities should make sure there is conformity between the Offshore Law and the addendum that includes the calculations on the deduction of expenses.

“It’s something usual between two allied states that are part of a strategic partnership. Official-level consultations are very useful and important when there are fears. From this standpoint, it’s an issue of usual routine. The only issue concerns ensuring conformity between the text of the law and the addendum based on which the calculations are made concerning the deduction of expenses, considering that for offshores this activity of natural gas exploitation is far costlier. Moreover, there was very clear insistence on the idea of the interest that the American side has – in what concerns relations with Romania – in energy issues, which represent one of the main problems at this hour,” Teodor Melescanu stated for Antena3.

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