theoildrum: The Potential for Future Production from Romania

In 1837, it was reportedly the first country to have an oil industry, reaching a production of 1719 barrels a year. It was also, in 1900, the first country to export gasoline, at a time when it was producing some 5,000 barrels a day. That made it the then third largest producer in the world. But by the 1930’s the country had fallen to seventh place, even though Romania was still the second largest producer in Europe, behind the Soviet Union.

By the time of the Second World War, the oil fields of Ploetsi were underpinning the operations of the German military machines, providing an estimated third of that country’s need. Attempts to bomb the fields were prolonged and, though they were not always successful and the fields and refineries continued to provide fuel for most of the war, the continued bombing finally got production down to 7% of capacity.

Production picked up and rose until 1980

Recent Romanian oil balance (Energy Export Databrowser)

Recent Romanian natural gas production (Energy Export Databrowser)

The nine oil fields in the Ticleni region, one of the older oil producers in the country, has just changed management hoping thereby to increase production of 4,500 bd from some 300 wells to over 6,000 bd.

Seismic exploration, introduced after WW II, helped make the majority of the discoveries that led to peak oil production in 1976. It has been the use of 3-D seismic that revealed much of the potential not developed in the past.

Romanian oil production and peak (Petrom)

Petrom was privatized in 2004, and began paying a dividend in 2010. Exploration offshore began in 1975, with oil production starting in 1987 from the Lebada East Field.

The historic fields have all been onshore around Torcesti for oil and Mamu for natural gas, while the new fields offshore are in deeper water, such as the Delta. It is currently anticipated that crude oil reserves are around 420 million barrels, with some 2 Tcf of natural gas, though there is potential for more.

Romanian oil and gas fields (USGS)

The new exploration and development is shared between Petrom and Romgaz, who have 55% of the natural gas sites in the country.

Romanian concession holders (Romanian National Agency for Mineral Resources)

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