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Romanian PM seeks energy independence by 2019

BUCHAREST, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) -- Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta said on Thursday that the country should have enough gas by 2019 both for itself and neighboring Moldova, if the exploitation begins soon in the Black Sea.

"If all the existing prospects referring to the gas in the Black Sea confirm and the exploitation begins, by 2019, we should have enough gas both for Romania and for the Republic of Moldova," said Ponta after his visit to natural gas transporter Transgaz and gas producer Romgaz in Medias, central Romania.

The two companies "contribute to the national strategy and to ensuring the energy independence," appreciated the prime minister, stressing that the Republic of Moldova is also a priority for Romania, "everything we plan in terms of energy ... we plan not only for Romania, but also for the Republic of Moldova."

Ponta stressed that Romania's energy independence, especially from Russia, was very important.

"I don't believe that Romania will truly be powerful and independent unless it ceases to depend on anyone in particular in terms of energy," he said, adding that "the manner in which you draw up your strategy for the future will ensure us, as a country, the energy independence, which means political independence."

Romania is the third-ranked country from an energetic independence viewpoint in the European Union. Its identified natural gas reserves are estimated at 100 billion cubic meters, sufficient to meet the country's demand for natural gas for 10-15 years. Moreover, Romania has also shale gas reserves of 1,444 billion cubic meters, a quantity that could potentially cover national gas consumption for 100 years.

The prime minister on Thursday participated in the 100th anniversary of Transgaz, an event that took place in its headquarters in Medias.

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