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When all of the pieces don’t fall into place
Things may not be going according to plan for OMV and ExxonMobil when it comes to how some of their pending natural gas production from the Black Sea will make its way to Austria’s Baumgarten Hub, according to an article on the FT.
And it’s not how Romania envisioned things, either. It was back in 2012 when the country swooned over its big plans to tap into Black Sea gas, specifically in the Neptune Bloc, which was estimated to bear 80-100 billion cubic meters/year of natural gas (now estimated by some analysts at 6bcm-12bcm/annum). The country had designs on becoming a gas exporter to the region, as that amount of gas was nine times Romania’s annual consumption.
Meanwhile, the piece notes, European governments were making huge investments into gas infrastructure, which could only help in Romania’s big plans to supply gas to the region, increasing gas supply diversification – but the plan has changed for a crucial piece of infrastructure that would deliver that gas to Austria when, this summer, stakeholders in the BRUA pipeline decided to focus their energies on the Hungary-Romania section.
The FT notes that Black Sea gas is a part of the European Commission’s priorities to reduce Central & Eastern Europe’s reliance on Russian sources of natural gas. The article surmises that Hungary becoming the final destination of such gas in lieu of Austria could boost the former’s prospects for gas trade.