Romania's Econ Min: Sterling Deal Annullment Is The Right Decision

Publish date: 24-04-2009
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Annulling the contract allowing Canada's Sterling Resources to exploit hydrocarbons in blocks XIII Pelican and XV Midia in the Black Sea is a right decision and Romania's largest gas producer Romgaz might represent the country in this deal, Economy Minister Adriean Videanu said Thursday.

Iulian Iancu, the president of the Commission for Industries and Services within Romania's Chamber of Deputies, said the Government's suspicions on this natural gas and crude oil exploitation deal were confirmed, as the Canadian neither has the financial power nor the permits to unroll such deal.

"The contract with Sterling was illegally changed by Government Ordinance 11/ 2007," Iancu said.

The commission headed by Iancu will meet again with Sterling's representatives on April 28.

According to Iancu, Romania cannot end the deal with Sterling unilaterally because of the Government Ordinance 11/ 2007, but the Parliament may annul this emergency ordinance and switch the National Mineral Resources Agency ANRM with Romgaz in the contract, so that the state would benefit from 45% of the hydrocarbons production, according to the clauses of the initial oil deal inked in 1992.

In the case of the country's dominant oil company Petrom, that also owns exploitation rights in the Black Sea, Romania receives 41% of the production, through the Economy Ministry's and investment fund Fondul Proprietatea's participations in the oil firm, Iancu added.

"ANRM started an investigation to establish the possibilities to annul the deal signed with Sterling. The checks are doubled by a checkup of the Prime Minister's Control Body. So far, the conclusions indicate the possibility to terminate the contract, so that we might resort to the provisions of the initial deal inked in 1992," ANRM's head Gelu Maracineanu told MEDIAFAX on Wednesday.


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