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BUCHAREST (Romania), January 10 (SeeNews) - Romania will have a strong say on a possible sale of the 50% stake in the Neptun Deep offshore gas project in the Black Sea held by ExxonMobil, the country's president said.
Klaus Iohannis also dismissed recent media reports that ExxonMobil's could sell its participation in Neptun Deep to Russia's Lukoil.
(...) in my opinion, this information that has been circulating in the last days is not real. I don't think we can talk about such a possible transaction," the Romanian president said during a televised news conference on Thursday evening.
At the beginning of this week, Romania's prime minister Ludovic Orban also commented on the matter. During a talk-show on Digi 24 TV Orban said that there could be a consortium of Romanian natural gas producer Romgaz, oil and gas group OMV Petrom [BSE:SNP] and another company to make an offer for ExxonMobil's stake in the Black Sea project..
"We want a partner - in case Exxon decides to sell - a serious partner, from our areas of partnerships with EU and NATO," Orban said.
Economy minister Virgil Popescu said in a Facebook post on Monday that if ExxonMobil is planning an exit, it should fully comply with the existing Romanian legislation.
"The Black Sea operations are a matter of national security and I recommend that no one tests us on this," Popescu said.
ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Romania Limited (EMEPRL) and OMV Petrom each hold 50% of the deep water sector of the Neptun Block. EMEPRL is the operator.
OMV Petrom's shares traded flat at 0.45 lei ($0.1/0.09 euro) on the Bucharest Stock Exchange by 1052 CET on Friday.
(1 euro = 4.7774 Romanian lei)