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Oilman Dinu Patriciu: When I think about the privatization of the national natural gas operator, I think about my country

de Radu Rizea
Vineri, 15 februarie 2008, 12:59 English | Business

Dinu Patriciu
Foto: Rompres
Billionaire businessman Dinu Patriciu explains in an interview for and BBC why he wishes for the Romgaz privatization and the opening for bid of its 200 licenses owned by the company. Himself manager of a natural gas company, Kazmunaigaz, therefore a possible player on the market, Patriciu claims he is interested only in the wellness of his country and does not bear any personal interest. Patriciu says that the sale of Romgaz licenses will lead to the forming of a competition-led market, with a first effect in the decrease of prices for natural gas. The  gas price and the possible interests in the market are to be discusses in an interview broadcast by BBC on Sunday.

In the interview, Dinu Patriciu explains that the 180 dollars price for 1,000 cubic meters of gas is still well above the production costs, proven by the 200 million dollars profit. About his earlier statements about the poor management at Romgaz, Patriciu explains that the price and the gas resources are not the main criteria in judging the management, but the way the company exploits its storage facilities.

According to Patriciu, Romania has - through Romgaz - storage facilities of 20 billion cubic meters of gas. Given the consumption cycles, the storage facilities could be used in the summer, with the gas sold more expensive during the winter, But the constant level of production imposed by the company leads to losses.

Even more, Romania conducted poor negotiations with Russia and consequently pays more for the gas than Bulgaria or any other neighboring country.

Referring to the worries expressed by the European Union, namely about the gas price that seems lower than the production cost, Patriciu says that there are no grounds for this concern and that the entire problem resumes to lack of knowledge.

Read the full version of the article in Romanian

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