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 Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers 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.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More