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

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora