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A rich history...

Romania has over 160 years of history in crude oil production & refining. It was among the first producing countries and one of the largest oil producers in the world at the beginning of the 20th century. Currently, after more than a century and a half of production, most of the fields have matured. However, recent gas discoveries in deep waters of the Black Sea indicate great potential. OMV Petrom is the successor of this rich history.

The beginnings

In 1857, with Romania being the first country to statistically report crude oil production and the first refinery in Europe (Mehedinteanu) being built near Ploiești, the fascinating journey of the Romanian oil & gas industry started to develop.

By the beginning of World War I, the industry saw a rampant development, mostly due to foreign investment. Before the beginning of World War I, approx. 75% of the invested capital in the Romanian oil industry was German, British and Dutch, while the Romanian capital had only an 8% share.

International players who were attracted by the Romanian oilfields included Standard Oil (Româno-Americană subsidiary, created in 1904) and Shell (Astra Română subsidiary, created in 1910).

The communist era

The period between 1947-1989 is known as the Communist era in the Romanian history. All oil companies were nationalized after the end of World War II and their assets were exploited by Sovrom Petrol, a company owned by the Romanian state and Russia. In 1976, a spike of 15 million tons of oil production was reached and production started to decline thereafter.

A state-owned company in a transition economy

After the Revolution in 1989, all Exploration & Production activities in Romania were taken over by the Romanian Petroleum Company, a state-owned company. The company continued to face challenges related to lack of investments and political interference. In 1997, it was transformed into SN Petrom, which also included two refineries - Arpechim and Petrobrazi, likewise lacking investment and coping with negative refining margins.

Post-privatization modernization

End 2004, OMV Petrom was privatized, with Austrian OMV AG being the new majority shareholder. The Company underwent a vast reorganization & restructuring process and benefited from major investments for modernization. Currently, OMV Petrom is the largest integrated energy producer in Southeastern Europe.

Exploration & Production major projects:

  • Neptun Deep: Final Investment Decision taken in June 2023 (more information here)
  • Significant discoveries, currently producing: Totea (onshore gas, discovered 2011), Delta (offshore oil, 2009), Padina (gas, JV Hunt Oil, discovered 2015)
  • New gas treatment plants: Burcioaia, Madulari, Hurezani centralized gas treatment hub comprising of a gas compression unit, a dehydration unit and Centralized Hydrocarbon Dewpoint (CHD) Hurezani
  • Multimillion euro investments every year in drilling and workover activities
  • Seismic data acquisition campaigns
  • Energy efficiency program in which we built Gas to Power (G2P), Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and Solar 2 to Power (S2P) units that generates electricity and steam for internal use
  • Viscous water injection projects in various fields

Refining & Marketing major projects:

  • Petrobrazi investments: more than 2 billion euro invested since privatization
  • New units to capitalize on market opportunities (e.g. Polyfuel)
  • Refinery tank farm and storage network optimization
  • Implementation of digital technologies for maintenance and operations (Advanced Process Control & Distributed Control System)
  • Modernization and optimization of filling stations network
  • Development of strategic partnerships on non-fuel business and alternative mobility

Gas & Power major projects:

  • Brazi power plant: the largest private greenfield project in electricity generation; can cover up to 10% of Romania's electricity consumption (at maximum capacity); investment > 500 million euros
  • Zero carbon projects, including through partnerships, part of our strategic direction regarding energy transition
  • Expansion of our business presence on both gas and power markets in neighbouring countries, including diversifying our gas supply portfolio in terms of imported gas sources, routes and products (including LNG)
  • Advancement in digitalization of operations and processes to improve business performance