This marks a substantial increase from the 4.7 billion lei invested in 2023.
The surge in investment is primarily driven by the company’s involvement in the Neptun Deep offshore gas project in the Black Sea.
Neptun Deep is said to have one of the EU’s largest natural gas deposits, with an expected cost of €4bn (19.89bn lei).
OMV Petrom is co-developing this strategic project alongside state-owned gas producer Romgaz.
Verchere stated that more than 80% of the main project contracts have been awarded and she sees no change in the project’s cost and deadline at present.
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“Our goal remains very much to bring the Neptune gas onshore in 2027, and we are on track to do that,” she told the publication in an interview.
The Neptun Deep project is expected to play a crucial role in diversifying gas supplies in the region.
Gas producers have identified the potential for further significant gas discoveries in Romania’s Black Sea, with an estimated 200 billion cubic metres of reserves.
Despite the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Verchere confirmed that OMV Petrom’s Black Sea operations continue without disruption.
“In that regard there is an aspect of operations as usual, I think it is fair to say there is a lot of good dialogue with the authorities with regards to ensuring that continues that way,” the executive said.
“Likewise, we are also an importer of crude, so cargoes are coming into Constanta Port and that is continuing as usual for us too.”
She also noted that the company has not been affected by incidents in the Red Sea, as its crude imports primarily originate from Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.
In addition to its oil and gas ventures, OMV Petrom operates a gas-fired power plant that contributed 12% of Romania’s power mix in 2023.
The company has ambitious plans to develop more than 2GW of solar and wind power capacity.
These renewable energy projects, combined with the Neptun Deep initiative, are set to propel OMV Petrom’s investment to record levels, the CEO noted.