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Traian Basescu: Romania has potential of total energy independence

Romania has the prospect to become totally independent in the energy field, and could be one of the gas sources not only for the domestic market, but also for other countries in Europe, this being feasible in 2015-2016, President Traian Basescu said on Monday.

'I went to the Neptune Block, on board of the Deepwater Champion ship, which is a vessel specialized in deep exploration; the good news is that a deposit of about 100 billion cubic meters was discovered and there is a similar perspective to find several other deposits, to be explored in the future. In 2011, Romania consumed 14.2 billion cubic meters of gas, of which 11.4 billion domestic production and imports to complete it of some three billion cubic meters. You can count how many years the already found deposit would suffice, so that we will not be forced to further import gas. It is clear that Romania has the prospect to become fully energy independent, and if the other fields that are to be prospected will indicate similar amounts, Romania could be one source of gas not only for the domestic market, but for many other countries in Europe', said Basescu, after the visit on board of the deep marine drilling ship Deepwater Champion, of the ExxonMobil Co., operating offshore in the Black Sea (south-eastern country).

Petrom oil group, together with ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Romania Limited (EEPRL), a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil, began drilling the Domino-1 probe, the first exploration in deep waters of the Romanian sector of the Black Sea, as Petrom informed in early January.

The Domino-1 probe is located in the Neptun block Neptune, 170 kilometers from shore, in deep waters of approximately 1,000 meters. The drilling will be performed by the modern world-class ship Deepwater Champion, recently arrived in the Romanian waters after completion of an offshore drilling program in Turkey. Drilling operations will take about 90 days.

Neptune perimeter has a surface of approximately 9,900 square km, in waters with a depth ranging between 50 and 1,700 meters. In November 2008, ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Romania Limited and Petrom signed an agreement by which Exxon Mobil purchased a participation of 50 percent in the exploitation of Neptune perimeter deep waters. Since then, the two companies have worked closely for 3D seismic data acquisition and for evaluating the hydrocarbon potential of the Neptune Block,Agerpres reports.

During 2009 - 2010, Petrom and ExxonMobil have acquired data for over 3,000 square km in the Neptune perimeter, with the aid of state-of-the-art 3D seismic technology - within the largest seismic program ever carried out in Romania.