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Transgaz Nine-Month Profit Declines 24% on Lower Volumes

Transgaz SA , Romania’s natural-gas grid operator, said its nine-month profit declined 24 percent as it transported less gas than a year ago.

Transgaz’s net income fell in the January-September period to 215 million lei ($61 million) from 284 million lei in the same period of 2011, according to a regulatory filing sent to the Bucharest Stock Exchange today. Revenue declined to 1.02 billion lei from 1.026 billion lei last year.

“The decline in revenue is mostly due to a decrease in the quantity of transported gas by about 304 million cubic meters from the same period of last year,” the company said in the statement.

Romania’s government had planned to sell a 15 percent stake in Transgaz this year as part of the pledges to the International Monetary Fund and the European Union. Prime Minister Victor Ponta said Nov. 10 that the Cabinet must discuss with the lenders whether the current moment for the sale is advisable or should it rather wait for a better timing, while focusing on the long-term company development.

“We finished the arrangements for the sale, but given the recent gas discoveries in the Black Sea, we see that Romania has a very big potential in this area and if sold now,” the government “would get a pretty small price” for the Transgaz stake, Ponta said in an interview for private television Antena 3, according to a transcript published on the Cabinet’s website.

OMV Petrom SA, Romania’s biggest oil company and Exxon Mobil Corp said on Feb. 22 that they discovered what may be its biggest gas find in the Black Sea, with an accumulation of about 84 billion cubic meters of gas, after exploring the Neptun Block, located 170 kilometers (106 miles) off the Romanian shore.

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