Romania's Conflict With Sterling May Be Solved Amiably

Publish date: 04-06-2009
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The dispute between Romania's Government and Sterling Resources on the hydrocarbons explorations in the Black Sea may be solved amiably by signing a partnership between the Canadian company and local gas producer Romgaz, Thursday said Iulian Iancu, a deputy with the Social Democratic Party.

So far, the Romanian authorities are not considering taking hard measures in this issue, as the former Government is to blame for Romania's giving up to its rights in the Black Sea, added Iancu, who heads the Industry and Services Committee of the Chamber of Deputies.

Romania's National Mineral Resources Agency ANRM said it wants to annul the contract with Sterling, so that Romania might benefit from 45% of the hydrocarbons production, according to the initial contract sealed in 1992, having the support of the Economy Minister Adriean Videanu, who announced to sustain this initiative.

The Romanian authorities said in May that Romgaz is ready to take part, alone or in partnership with Sterling Resources, in the natural gas explorations in the Black Sea.

The lease in the Black Sea, granted by the Government in 1992, was extended, successively, by all Romania's governments, the decision of the latest Tariceanu Government of November 2008 not changing the content of the agreement.

An appendix of the oil-drilling contract closed between ANRM and Sterling Resources refers explicitly to the dispute between Romania and Ukraine, specifying that the exploration right will become an exploitation one after The Hague Court's decision.

The International Court of Justice at The Hague drew on February 3 a new maritime border between Romania and Ukraine, settling a 40 year-old dispute.

Thus, the Court's decision and an appendix to the exploration contract give Sterling exploration rights in blocks XIII Pelican and XV Midia in the Black Sea.


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