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 and the country’s production is less than 10% of Europe’s largest producers. However, recent gas discoveries in deep waters of the Black Sea indicate great potential. OMV Petrom is the successor of this rich history.
In 1857, with Romania being the first country to statistically report crude oil production and the first refinery in Europe (Mehedinteanu) being built near Ploiesti, 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 oil-fields included Standard Oil (Romano-Americana subsidiary, created in 1904) and Shell (Astra Romana 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 mn 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 in Romanian, 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 in SN Petrom, which also included two refineries - Arpechim and Petrobrazi, which were also lacking investment and coping with negative refining margins.
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 (EUR 13.5 bn between 2005 and 2017). Currently, OMV Petrom is a solid and modern company.
Exploration & Production major projects:
- Neptun Deep: 8 wells drilled in Black Sea deepwater sector during exploration phase (2012-2016), most of them successful, 42-84 bn cubic meters initial estimates for resource accumulation;
- Significant discoveries, currently producing: Totea (onshore gas, discovered 2011), Delta (offshore oil, 2009), Padina (gas, JV Huntoil, discovered 2015)
- Remote control & monitoring of wells: currently 4,800 automated wells
- New gas treatment plants: Burcioaia, Hurezani, Madulari
- Field redevelopment projects to increase resource recovery through new wells, secondary & tertiary recovery, infrastructure modernization (FRD Suplacu, FRD Tazlau)
Refining & Marketing major projects:
- Petrobrazi refinery modernization: 1.2 billion euro invested 2004-2014
- Modernization of filling stations network
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); investmen t> 500 million euro