Romanian Media: OMV’s Petrom Might Lose Exploration Plots

19. Juni 2006, 00:00

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Petrom, the No. 1 oil and gas company in Romania, controlled by Austria’s OMV Group, is on the verge of losing several of its exploitation areas as the deadline for making proof of the investments required through the concession contract expired, the local media reports on Monday, June 19.

If any proof of the required investments is not shown, the National Agency for Mineral Resources (ANRM) can lease these areas to other companies.

According to ANRM head, Gheorghe Buliga, the deadline until Petrom had the obligation of reporting the value and destination of the exploration investments expired at the end of 2005 and the company did not send any reports yet.

Buliga said that the Agency will not extend the deadline, but the company can take part in another future tender for exploitation areas in Romania.

According to ANRM, Petrom should have invested USD 240 million in new oil derricks last year and more in technological products.

The company at the same time benefits from a 35-per-cent discount off the tax on profit from production, on the condition that the money in case is reinvested in the same area of activity.

Petrom received a concession of 30,000 square kilometres for exploration and has extracts from 245 oil reserves, according to ANRM. In the absence of the evidence of the investment, ANRM can auction out the land in question again.

ANRM also intends to amend the Oil Act to shorten the length of concession from 45 to a maximum of 20 years, including the exploration times – currently five years – with the possibility of extension by another four years.

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