Monday, August 22, 2011

Romania May Set Higher Fees to Raise $371 Million in Four Years

Romania’s government wants to increase royalties for natural-gas storage, crude-oil transport and mineral resources and raise about 1.1 billion lei ($371 million) over the next four years.

The government plans to increase the royalty to 15 percent of revenue from crude-oil transport from the current 10 percent and to 5 percent for underground gas storage from 3 percent, according to a draft lawpublished on the Finance Ministry’s website. It also wants to raise mineral royalty payments, without specifying percentage changes.

“The proposed changes to the mineral and oil laws will increase royalty payments and have a positive financial impact,” according to the draft. “Budget revenue from the proposed royalty payments would rise by about 117 million lei in the last five months of this year.”

The Balkan nation is trying to bring in more revenue from the energy industry to the state budget as it cuts spending to meet pledges to the International Monetary Fund and the European Union and reduce its budget deficit to below 3 percent of gross domestic product from next year.

It plans to sell minority stakes in two utilities, natural- gas producer Romgaz SA and oil companyOMV Petrom SA (SNP) this year and next to raise funds for infrastructure projects. State-owned Romgaz and Petrom together hold about 83 percent of the gas market, while the rest comes from imports. Conpet SA is the operator of the national oil-transport grid.

To contact the reporter on this story: Irina Savu in Bucharest at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at

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