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Natural Gas: Wrong EU Maneuver

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Autor: Ilie Serbanescu 14 Noi 2006 - 00:00
Natural Gas: Wrong EU Maneuver


Even though the real reason for the new endearment of the gas price came out eventually (the OMV blackmail that threatened not to supply gas in the network if the prices remained the same), explanations weren’t complete, because we should have found out that the OMV request was backed at least indirectly by the EU decision regarding the fact that the internal price of the natural gas should be equal to the one in the EU. Romania has negotiated a calendar for the alignment of the internal and external prices and the annual endearment resulted was 25 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic meters. If we take into account the fact that, at the moment of the negotiation, the difference between the two prices was rather small, because the price of the imported gas was somewhat reasonable, the 25 U.S. dollars were supposed to close the gap in a short period of time. However, in the meantime, the price of the imported gas increased spectacularly and this means the price of the gas produced in Romania will have to increase pretty much as well. The endearment caused by OMV took the price of the Romanian gas to 143 US dollars per 1,000 cubic meters. The price of the gas imported from Russia has reached 315 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic meters.

These data are useful to emphasize the difference the Romanian consumers will have to pay for. The conclusion is that the price has to be more than double in order for the Romanian gas to be as expensive as the one of the imported gas.

The fact that the EU imposed such a parity for Romania is quite questionable. It is supposed to support loyal competition because it brings the countries without such resources on the same level as the ones that have these resources. It looks like the ones that have certain resources should be punished for it! Of course, the Russian gas is the control point of this measure. Russia takes advantage of this and increases the price constantly. Actually, this is no more than a request from the powerful states in the EU, which don’t have enough resources of their own, because they wouldn’t want the prices for energy in Romania (the only adhering country with some resources) to be competition for theirs!

Let’s say this request was righteous! In this case, another righteous request would have been for the owner state to be able to benefit from the resources God gave to it. I agree the Romanian legal bodies shouldn’t benefit from these resources in order to create the same environment for all the legal bodies in the EU. However, my opinion is that the artificially increased prices should result in a benefit for the owner state in the name of its people, who are the actual owners of these resources! EU also wanted Romania to privatize PETROM in order for us to be accepted in the union. Actually, EU wanted the Western-European countries to get this company as well as the exploitation of the Romanian resources. In other words, the EU demanded us to privatize PETROM so that the profits obtained from the artificially increased prices to get to the foreign company that was to take over the exploitation of these resources. The state, which used to own the resources, wouldn’t get anything from this. Could this be called loyal competition?! Romania might have a high degree of corruption, but even we call this ramping.

Translated by SORIN BALAN
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