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Romania’s insularization

Romania’s accession to the EU 10 years ago brought with it innumerable opportunities in the energy sphere, tradition and resources allowing it to claim an important role in the Eastern European region. Romania’s subsequent actions not only buried almost any hope of an important role in the natural gas sector in the region, but it also led to the insularization of Romania in the European gas market.

I recently received an email stating:

By accident, I found on the Internet the presentation you made in 2005 “Considerations on Gas Transit in the Balkans 2010-2020”:

 http://www.finmedia.ro/conferences/conferintele//piatapetrolului//ed3//prezentari//Mircea%20Vescan.pps.

 A Balkan RING! What a vision! It would have been gold for Europe. Slide 17 especially, I cannot get it out of my head. It is a shame that in 2005 when this vision was launched – We will witness a change of gas flows in the European transmission systems” – no one has joined it.

I remember the negative reactions at the time of the presentation of this vision (2005), considering that it was impossible to develop projects in the natural gas sector that would bypass Romania – the country with the most gas resources in the region, the country with most storage facilities (then), the country with the oldest tradition in the natural gas sector.

Bypassing Romania from the point of view of natural gas flows is almost exclusively due to our actions.

In Romania, it has gone unnoticed, concerned with only one aspect – no year without amending the gas law – an important element, with repercussions in the next 15-20 years, which paves the way for the realization of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. Thus, according to an information emerged on 27 September 2017, a legal opinion of some representatives of the Council of the European Union argued that those in the European Commission have no legal argument and competence in the field to block the Nord Stream 2 project.  The European Commission has advocated for blocking the realization of Nord Stream 2, saying that it had the only purpose to overturn EU energy markets in favor of Russia.

In fact, the imposition of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline blows up not only the principles that make up the unique natural gas market, but also creates the premises for the realization of other pipelines with a monopolistic purpose, opening the way for South Stream. Thus, the two major gas transmission routes, one in the north and the other in the south of Romania, eliminate any possibility for Romania to play any role on the European gas market and cause the irreversible insularization of Romania on the gas market. We can delude ourselves with Romania’s energy independence, that until winter comes and we see that dreams do not keep us warm. Romania is and will remain dependent on gas imports, it is true not all year round, but is dependent during the most critical moments, in the cold winter days. In other words, in the most critical moments, we are at the disposal of imports, which may or may not come, not to mention the gas prices in those days.

Potential gas routes over the next 10-15 years in Central and Eastern Europe.

Insularization will have a significant adverse impact on Romania’s energy security within 10-15 years and will create the premises for a future monopoly of Russian gas in Romania, probably after 2035.

Even though these elements have been visible for years, not only do we not fight the insularization of Romania’s gas market in the short term and push the country towards captivity towards Russian gas in the long run, but we even strive to sink into games that are in no way to the advantage of Romania, not to mention to the advantage of the Romanian consumers.

Nobody cares anyway about the Romanian gas consumers.

Translation from Romanian by Romaniascout.


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