SOCAR to become even stronger player on Romanian market: deputy minister (Exclusive)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.15

By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:

Azerbaijan’ state oil company SOCAR will become an even stronger player on Romanian market, Secretary of State with Romanian Ministry of Energy Iulian-Robert Tudorache said in an exclusive interview with Trend.

“SOCAR is involved in key European energy projects designed to increase Europe's energy security. We can only enjoy the fact that Romania features among the priority directions of SOCAR business development, not only in the area of retail operations, but also as regards the transmission of Azerbaijani natural gas to Europe,” said the deputy minister.

Tudorache pointed out that SOCAR has been involved in Romania since 2011 and currently operates a growing distribution network on the market, with more than 40 gas stations throughout the country.

“I am convinced that, following the significant investments SOCAR has proposed, the company will become an even stronger player on our market,” he added.

Tudorache emphasized that the presence of a leading company such as SOCAR on the fuel market in Romania is very welcomed by the Romanian consumers.

“Stronger competition is always good news in the field, leading to lower fuel prices and guaranteeing better services in the retail business,” he said.

The deputy minister noted that during the recent discussions between the representatives of ROMGAZ and SOCAR several ideas have been put forward for future cooperation.

“These involve the off-shore gas exploration and exploitation in the Romanian sectors of the Black Sea, if the Romanian company will decide to be involved in this project in the future. It was also mentioned the opportunity to cooperate in the projects related to the TANAP and TAP pipelines, important components of the Southern Gas Corridor. The Romanian company ROMGAZ expressed the interest to collaborate with SOCAR in the on-shore area on the territory of Azerbaijan and also in the off-shore area from the Caspian Sea,” he said.

Another important direction of cooperation identified is the natural gas underground storage sector, taking into consideration the similar situation in Azerbaijan and Romania – around 3 bcm storage capacities, according to the deputy minister.

“Also, considering the potential of the Caspian Sea gas fields, we may state that TRANSGAZ, the Romanian company operating our national gas transmission system, has set ambitious goals in this respect in its Ten Years Network Development Plan. Once the link between the Southern Gas Corridor and the Vertical Gas Corridor will be physically established, Caspian gas volumes could be delivered to the Romanian, to the neighboring and to the Central European gas markets,” he said.

Currently, SOCAR has filling stations in 18 regions of Romania.

SOCAR is the sole producer of petroleum products in Azerbaijan. The company also has filling stations in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine and Switzerland.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn

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