Voice of America: Romania Expects to be Energy Independent Despite Ukraine Crisis

Romania is expected to achieve energy independence by the end of the decade, due to shale gas and alternative energy sources like wind and nuclear power. It is the third most energy independent country in the European Union after Denmark and Estonia.

A neighbor of Ukraine, Romania has found itself in recent months close to Europe’s latest energy and political crisis, a crisis that threatens to disrupt Europe’s gas supply and throw the European Union into economic turmoil. Despite the continent’s dependence on Russian natural gas and oil, Romania is the only southeastern European country believed to approach energy self-sufficiency, and is mostly unaffected by the crisis in Ukraine.

Razvan Niculescu, the Romanian Secretary of Energy, said recent exploration efforts show Romania has significant offshore resources of natural gas in the Black Sea, with recovery expected to start by the end of 2019. These resources and unconventional shale gas will help Romania meet all its energy needs and even become an exporter of natural gas.

Romania already meets 80 percent of those needs from its own oil, gas, hydro, coal and nuclear energy sources, and imports the remaining 20 percent of gas and oil from Russia – unlike Ukraine and Bulgaria, which depend almost entirely on Russian natural gas imports.

Besides a significant supply of offshore gas in the Black Sea, the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates Romania to have 1.4 trillion cubic meters of shale gas, the third largest reserve in Europe after Poland and France.

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Source: Voice of America, 2014

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