The Black Sea Energy & Economic Forum 2009 started, organised by the US Atlantic Council, supported by the Romanian Economic and Foreign Affairs Ministries. The conference brings together leaders from Europe, Asia and the US, plus important business leaders.


Mircea Geoana, Romanian Social-Democratic Party leader:

  • In 2003, we were trying to have the Black Sea on the US administration's map. The question resurfaces today, for the Obama administration.
  • I strongly believe that the Geopolitical relevance in the case of Black Sea and Caspian Sea will always remain important.
  • I'm convinced a new balanced will be reached in the years to come if we back our cause, and not only as a link between the West and the East.
  • The fight to control the Black Sea and the Danube Delta are not new issues and will not conclude. We can find common ground, as to not sacrifice the region's chance for development.
  • I do not share the Russian phobia and anti-Russian feelings, which could maybe be legitimate from a historic perspective, but are not currently adequate.
  • We will not discuss about a new sphere of interest, but about a pragmatic engagement. We need to engage Russia in a constructive manner.
  • For some countries, the lack of resources is a disguised curse.
  • I encourage the Romanian leaders to take part in this effort. I'm tired to wait from Bucharest the same decisions taken elsewhere. 
  • There is the obligation to diversify. This is the path towards progress. At that point, energy will be less a geopolitical instrument and more a cooperation tool.
  • We'll need to try and influence these trials.
  • Billions of euros are needed to modernise the Romanian energetic sector. We're obliged to set a clear path for the Romanian energy sector for at least 20 years.
  • I believe that this conference has three meanings: starting the lobby in Washington, bringing together business representatives and mediating the decision factors in Romania.

Crin Antonescu, Romanian Liberal Party leader:

  • The Black Sea is presently a European lake. It can also stand for a cooperation zone.
  • There were various EU initiatives and, unfortunately, none of them can be considered successful. Various reasons have been highlighted for not managing cooperation in the region.
  • I hope that this forum constitutes a dialogue platform, so that Romania plays an important role in elaborating energy policies in the region.

Steven Mann - Exxon Mobile:

  • The main lesson I have learnt is that the development of a pipeline needs to be preceded by an economic growth.
  • The technical challenges will be much more difficult. They relate to the investment conditions that we need to look into to allow us the next development stage.

Mariana Gheorghe - Petrom:

  • Petrom is the largest South-East European producer.
  • I believe that both petrol and gas will continue to be the spine of the energetic system in the future, despite the scenarios we're considering.
  • If we look at the predictions made by EU 27, the steal, oil and gas industries will be the main actors until 2030. The industry is facing great challenges and we will not be able to continue in the same rhythm. There will be changes. We're talking about demand, costs, production, and energy security. The sector will need collective effort.
  • We're involved in off-shore activities, but we began to explore the Black Sea region as well.

Dinu Patriciu, Romanian businessman:

  • The big corporations are unable to go beyond the wall, towards the unconventional. We're still living in the fossil fuels era. I'm NOT a big pipe fan. There is not pipe without a political context.
  • Whether we're talking about the wooden pipe in Braesti or Nabucco, there isn't one that hasn't been produced for political reasons.
  • The energy reserves in the region are huge. I believe that the Black Sea region is an alternative to Russia. It might sound foolish, but it will sound different in a year or two.

Glen Sansom, Schlumberger:

  • The global energy demand: the last year was dropping, but the trend is upwards.
  • The challenge for the future addresses utilising fossil fuels in an environment friendly way. It is an aspect we focus on, because coal extraction is easy.
  • A bottle of water costs more than a bottle of petroleum.