Archives for : Securitate energetica

First lessons at EU level, after the incident in Baumgarten

Seen as the safest, most performing, efficient, flexible and environmentally friendly gas facility in Europe, Baumgarten, a reference in the European gas industry, was the scene of an incident that caused the biggest emotion in the gas market in the history of natural gas. An emotion that has resulted in an instantaneous increase in gas prices in some SPOT markets, but also an immediate reaction of Italy by declaring, too easily, the state of emergency etc.

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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.

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The project of the Energy Strategy of Romania

strategia eneregtica a romanieiA study without the principles and methodology underlying the preparation of the study has the consequence of questioning its results. In this context and in order to support any intention of achieving an Energy Strategy, I would like to make some clarifications regarding the document submitted on December 10th 2014. The project started in June 2014, for drawing up the Energy Strategy of Romania for 2015-2035, involved going through the following stages before formulating the strategy (strategic objectives), following to complete it by October 15th 2015:

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We need an Energy Strategy for Romanians

Ramas bun, dle Profesor Leca

Good by , Mr. Leca

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Elimination of gas imports over a short, medium and long term! Maybe in a different approach of the natural gas sector

Reducing Romania’s reliance on gas imports was due to a conjecture, the decline in gas demand, especially due to the closure of some industrial consumers. Eliminating gas imports is a goal which could be reached by a different approach of the gas market in Romania, position that must be analyzed over a short, medium and long term and which shouldn’t be significantly influenced by conjectural approaches. Before any analysis, we will present the following considerations:

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Energy independence by turning off the gas valve

Romania’s energy independence strategy starts with the officials’ hope to decrease gas consumption and thus eliminate Romania’s import needs. Recently, Gabriel Dumitrascu, director of the Privatization Directorate of the Department for Energy, has stated that “energy and chemical fertilizers producers are burning gas with no reason” and hinted that with the elimination of such consumptions from the market and with a slight increase in domestic production “we wouldn’t be forced to import gas”. Successful economies are based on added value obtained by valorizing their natural and human resources and obtaining products with high added value. Thus, from this point of view by processing gas the added value of products obtained is one high compared to the use of gas for other purposes (the lowest added value of using gas is found in heating buildings). In this way, hoping that companies will be closed and thus obtain energy independence and then start export of raw material to the detriment of finished products that can be obtained by it is an action that will not create economic wealth. The economic and energy strategy should stimulate the use of natural gas in Romania, in order to develop industrial production that makes products with high added value, by efficient processes and which executes fair commercial contracts of gas and electricity acquisition with gas and electricity suppliers. The manner in which natural gas sector functioning was conceived in Romania, in the ‘70s, which did not suffer substantial changes, even in the case of eliminating “energy and chemical fertilizers producers that burn gas for no reason”, makes that gas imports cannot be eliminated entirely. There is a significant difference in the balance sheet approach of the issue of gas sources and annual consumption and continuous and safe provision of gas at peak consumption. Calculation according to which Romania’s annual gas consumption will equalize gas production, thus Romania heading to Energy Independence will hit two obvious realities: peak consumption in Romania exceeds by 10-15mln cu m/day the potential to ensure consumption only with domestic sources; average gas pressure in the initial points of the pipeline don’t allow gas transmission through the current NTS over large distances at peak consumption, which makes
those gas, even if they exist under a balance sheet aspect, not flow continuously and in enough amounts to the consumption places (respectively consumption areas in Moldavia, Banat, Bihor, Satu Mare, Baia Mare, Slobozia etc.). Reducing import dependence, to its full elimination, is a realist objective, but in another construction of the gas sector: technically, legally and economically, and it mustn’t be achieved to the detriment of Romanians’ economic welfare. This approach can consider redesigning the transmission system, so that gas transit from west to east and from south to north, but also the vice versa, ensure the necessary energy as transmission and balancing  support between various areas, corroborated with the development of local systems allowing to take over natural gas from the local fields and theirtransmission over relatively small distances. This approach must be possible from a technical point of view and attractive in terms of tariffs practiced.
Rethinking the transmission system legally (distinct rules for each system category), technically (technological regimes, different investment, operational and maintainability approaches on categories of systems), economically (pricing methodologies, royalties, taxes, different tariffs on categories of systems) would allow taking over gas from the local fields and their transmission depending on available pressures, but also bidirectional flow through a national system compatible with the transmission systems of the neighboring countries, taking over potential gas discoveries in new fields of conventional and unconventional gas, interconnection with the current and future gas transmission systems (TAP, TANAP, South Stream), would ensure the operation of the gas sector in accordance with the business principles promoted by the European Directives and Regulations, Romania’s economic development and energy security (including by reducing energy dependence). The strategy of “time passage” through which Romania’s energy problems would be solved by themselves, as a result of stopping and reducing gas consumption should be replaced with the real and professional approach of this subject, accepting the transposition of globalization principles at the level of the natural gas sector and developing an energy strategy corroborated with Romania’s economic strategy.

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