Romania: Romania to Introduce New Oil & Gas Royalties Regime

The Romanian government recently opened discussion on a long-awaited draft law aimed at redefining the existing oil & gas royalties system.

For years, one Romanian administration after another had announced their intention to reconsider the Romanian oil & gas royalties system; and every time, this announcement faced strong opposition from industry players, who argued that upward adjustments of the levels of royalties would deter much needed investment in the Romanian oil & gas sector, in particular in the context of the recent decline in oil prices.

Against this background, on 23 October 2017, the Ministry of Economy put up for public debate a draft law regarding the oil & gas royalties system (the "Draft Royalties Law"), inviting interested parties to comment within ten calendar days at dezbateri_publice@economie.gov.ro. The full text of the Draft Royalties Law is available here.

The current national oil & gas royalties system is set forth in the Petroleum Law No. 238/2004 ("Petroleum Law") and concerns only onshore operations. The level of the royalties ranges from 3.5 % up to 13.5 % for crude oil and up to 13 % for natural gas, applicable to gross volumes. Royalties are calculated on the basis of the reference prices determined by the National Agency for Mineral Resources ("NAMR"), based on its own methodology, and are due by the petroleum concession holders to the Romanian State on a quarterly basis.

Although the Draft Royalties Law maintains the same levels of royalties for oil & gas onshore operations as provided under the Petroleum Law, it does introduce certain key changes that will impact the sector, including a separate royalties system for offshore operations and new principles for determining reference prices.

Here is a brief outline of the main provisions of the Draft Royalties Law:

  • The Draft Royalties Law includes a much needed stabilisation provision to the effect that the new royalties regime shall not apply to concession agreements in force as of the enactment of the new regime, save for more favourable provisions or for mandatory provisions of EU law. Conversely, concession agreements entered into after the enactment of the new royalties regime shall be subject to the royalties systems provided under the respective concession agreements, throughout their duration, save for more favourable provisions or for mandatory provisions of EU law.
  • Different royalty levels apply to onshore and offshore oil & gas operations. While for the upstream onshore segment, the current levels of the royalties is maintained, for the offshore segment, the royalties are based on a fixed component, applicable irrespective of the extracted volumes (8 % for crude oil and 10 % for natural gas), plus a variable component (from 4.5 % up to 5.5 % for crude oil and from 2 % up to 3 % for natural gas).
  • If the same offshore oilfield is exploited within two or more areas within the same perimeter, the applicable royalty rate shall be determined by reference to the aggregate gross production of the entire offshore oilfield.
  • The royalties due by the oil & gas onshore segment are calculated on the basis of the reference price determined by the NAMR and the gross production registered at the measurement points. If the trading price (which will not include VAT and other taxes) exceeds the reference price, the royalties shall be determined on the basis of the trading price. The reference price, both for offshore and onshore oil & gas operations, shall be determined by the NAMR on the basis of the price of Brent crude and, respectively, the price of natural gas on the centralised market operated by OPCOM, the national centralised energy market operator.
  • At the request of the NAMR, the level of the royalties as set in the Draft Royalties Law may be revised by government decision, on the basis of an economic opportunity analysis. Based on the stabilisation provisions, we assume that such revisions would not impact ongoing concessions, unless they resulted in a downward adjustment of the level of the royalties.
  • Royalties shall be due monthly (as opposed to quarterly, under the current regime), by the 25th day of the following month. The NAMR shall be obliged to terminate the concession with immediate effect if titleholders fail to pay the royalties for more than six (6) months.
  • The Draft Royalties Law sets certain exceptions, such as natural gas accounting for the minimum safety stocks, imported natural gas, natural gas deposited in gas storages and gas re-injected in gas fields for technological purposes, which shall not be subject to royalties. Likewise, crude oil accounting for the minimum safety.
  • The Draft Law did not revise the level of the royalties for oil transportation and transit and gas storage activities, which shall remain unchanged.

Once the public debate just launched by the Ministry of Economy has been completed, a final version of the Draft Royalties Law will be prepared and put up for discussion and approval in the Romanian Parliament.

While in its current version, the Draft Royalties Law does not appear to have a significant impact on the ongoing operations of titleholders under existing contracts, the new royalties regime will have to be considered by investors when deciding whether to pursue new projects in the Romanian oil & gas market.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions