News / Europe

Romania Expects to be Energy Independent Despite Ukraine Crisis

FILE - A worker walks in front of the drilling tower at Chevron's site during a media day in Pungesti.
FILE - A worker walks in front of the drilling tower at Chevron's site during a media day in Pungesti.
Ana Hontz-Ward

Romania is expected to achieve energy independence by the end of the decade, due to shale gas and alternative energy sources like wind and nuclear power. It is the third most energy independent country in the European Union after Denmark and Estonia.

A neighbor of Ukraine, Romania has found itself in recent months close to Europe’s latest energy and political crisis, a crisis that threatens to disrupt Europe’s gas supply and throw the European Union into economic turmoil.  Despite the continent’s dependence on Russian natural gas and oil, Romania is the only southeastern European country believed to approach energy self-sufficiency, and is mostly unaffected by the crisis in Ukraine.

Razvan Niculescu, the Romanian Secretary of Energy, said recent exploration efforts show Romania has significant offshore resources of natural gas in the Black Sea, with recovery expected to start by the end of 2019. These resources and unconventional shale gas will help Romania meet all its energy needs and even become an exporter of natural gas.

Romania already meets 80 percent of those needs from its own oil, gas, hydro, coal and nuclear energy sources, and imports the remaining 20 percent of gas and oil from Russia - unlike Ukraine and Bulgaria, which depend almost entirely on Russian natural gas imports, 

Besides a significant supply of offshore gas in the Black Sea, the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates Romania to have 1.4 trillion cubic meters of shale gas, the third largest reserve in Europe after Poland and France. 

The crisis over Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula and a bill paying dispute between those two countries further encouraged Bucharest to pursue energy independence. In May, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visited Romania to discuss alternatives to Europe’s dependence on Russian energy and the possibility of Romania becoming a key connection point for energy markets between East and West.

Iulian Buga, Romania's ambassador to the United States, said Ukraine's crisis emphasizes the need to speed up that process.

“This is not only related to the current crisis in the region but it’s about the future, because the need for energy has been there for quite some time and it will increase and increase. With or without that crisis, you still need to find new resources, and the energy subject has always been an important element in the security of every country,” said Buga.

Another consequence of the crisis in the Crimean Peninsula is the construction of an inter-connector system between Romania and the Republic of Moldova, a small former Soviet republic east of Romania that is 100 percent dependent on Russian energy imports. Romania and Moldova have strong historical and cultural ties.

Romania is also doing a feasibility study on building an inter-connector pipeline that will allow natural gas from Azerbaijan to be transported through Georgia to Romania and farther into Central and Western Europe. Romanian Energy Secretary Niculescu said the pipeline will help the region sustain any future energy disruptions.

Niculescu said Europe will continue to import natural gas and oil from Russia, but these imports will be at an acceptable percentage and will ensure energy will never again be used as a political weapon.

The booming energy sector is expected to be the main economic driver and job creator as Romania works to catch up to wealthier EU members. According to government data, the energy sector alone is expected to create 20,000 jobs in Romania over the next decade.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ryan from: Canada
July 16, 2014 12:24 AM
This could maybe boost their economy for once.


by: 1worldnow from: Earth
July 14, 2014 11:17 PM
This is great, maybe Romania can shine the light of energy independence for all nations.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid