The war between Greenpeace and the Romanian government on Neptun Deep

In June 2023, OMV Petrom & Romgaz came together in the Neptun Deep project: a 4.4 billion dollar project seeking to monetize a recoverable gas resource of 100 BCM, with first gas scheduled for 2027.

Annual production is projected to climb within a year to 8 BCMA, and it will flip Romania from gas net importer to gas net exporter – a huge development for Romania. Implications include pricing and hub formation, decarbonisation through lignite substitution, infrastructure creation – and, most saliently of all, replacing Russian supplies.

However, Greenpeace Romania is determined to take Neptun Deep down.

Greenpeace activists have protested in front of the Ministry of Environment, demanding the resignation of the environment minister, Mircea Fechet, after the environmental agreement for the project was issued.

„This protest comes in the wake of the issuance of the environmental agreement for the Neptun Deep project, after 11,000 people joined the organisation’s call to reject the agreement and more than 24,000 people signed the petition to protect the Black Sea”, Greenpeace’s release reads.

Environmental activists accuse the ministry of ignoring concerns and approving a project that presents numerous risks and problems. More precisely, Romanian authorities have not published details of the toxic substances to be dumped into the Black Sea.

Moreover, „the project will be carried out in the vicinity of a conflict zone, without assessing the impact of sea mines or proposing measures to prevent the risk of explosion”.

More generally, Greenpeace cites biodiversity impact and emissions of over 2000 million tons of CO2.

Photographs show that OMV Petrom platforms have major deficiencies and non-conformities, endangering the Black Sea, Greenpeace claims.

OMV Petrom has not clarified the situation of these platforms, and consultations have been superficial.

Greenpeace Romania has „gone nuclear”, suing OMV Petrom and Romgaz, Tuzla City Hall and Local Council, Dobrogea Litoral Water Basin Administration and the „Grigore Antipa” National Institute for Marine Research and Development for irregularities in the approval processes and lack of transparency regarding crucial data on the toxic substances to be discharged into the Black Sea.

In an interview with Digi24, Minister Rechet retaliated that Neptun Deep will not pollute the Black Sea and that failing to exploit Romania’s resources in the zone would be exactly to Russia’s liking. He also suggested that most NGOs have a subjective vendetta against the state.

Cold War between Romania and Russia carries on in world of diplomacy

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