Romania is located in south-eastern Europe on the coast of the Black Sea and covers an area of over 238 thousand km² with a population of over 21 million (2011).
Romania contains south-eastern Europe's most significant oil and gas reserves and has surplus refining capacity. The extensive existing infrastructure, lower competition, the attractive prospective geology and its strategic location within the European energy market all adds to the positive focus of the Romanian petroleum industry.
Romania was under Communist control from 1947 until the Romanian Revolution in 1989. Since 1990, Romania has been undergoing the transition to a free market economy. In 2004 Romania was awarded membership of NATO, and in January 2007 it joined the European Union.
The country has a wealth of natural resources and is ranked tenth in the world for its diversity of minerals. Its production of metals (including aluminium, copper, lead, zinc and steel) and the quarrying and mining of industrial materials (including salt, barite and graphite) are of regional importance. The petroleum industry in Romania is the largest in the region and plays an important part in the country's energy balance.
Oil and Gas in Romania
The oil and gas industry in Romania dates back to the mid 1800's. By 1937, Romania was the second largest European oil producer and the seventh largest in the world, producing 7.2 million metric tonnes of oil per year. Progress and development of the industry was temporarily slowed during the Communist rule of the country, when the focus was on self sufficiency and little was done to expand or improve the existing infrastructure and performance.
Romania held its first post Communism licensing round in 1992, with both onshore and offshore concessions on offer, Shell, Enterprise Oil and Amoco were all awarded licences. The concession areas cover most of the country's lowland area and exclude the highland areas of the Carpathian Mountains.
The majority of production blocks currently under agreement in Romania are held by Romgaz, the state owned national gas company, and Petrom, the Romanian state oil company which was privatised. Petrom is now majority (51%) owned by Austrian oil company, OMV. Romania is the largest natural gas producer in Eastern Europe.