Romania Demands Petrom, Romgaz to Trade Part of Their Gas Output

OMV Petrom SA and Romgaz SA must trade part of their natural gas output on the commodity exchange starting next month as part of a government plan to increase transparency and liberalize the energy market.

Natural gas suppliers in Romania, such as E.ON SE and GDF Suez will also have to trade natural gas on the bourse starting next year, even with imported gas, Energy Minister Razvan Nicolescu said today in Bucharest, announcing an emergency government decree.

Romania started deregulating its energy market and plans to gradually eliminate subsidized prices by 2018 to meet European Union requirements while also trying to help people with lower incomes pay bills as the economy is recovering.

The government also approved a plan today to exempt large companies from paying for part of their renewable energy costs in the next 10 years to let them maintain production and retain jobs. The support plan is still pending the approval of the European Commission, according to Nicolescu, and will need parliamentary approval.

About 300 companies will benefit from the support plan, with an estimated budget of 750 million euros ($1 billion), the Economy Ministry said in a statement today.

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