Black Sea Oil & Gas transitions to renewable energy projects through permitting for the first power corridor in the Romanian Black Sea

Black Sea Oil & Gas SA, along with its partners in the Midia Gas Development (MGD) project, Petro Ventures Resources and Gas Plus Dacia, has initiated the permitting process for a power corridor in the Black Sea. This corridor will utilize the existing infrastructure of the MGD project to connect future offshore wind farms to the national power grid (SEN) operated by Transelectrica.

The power corridor, which is designed to have a capacity of 3GW and span 126 km, represents the first permitted power corridor in the Romanian Black Sea. It is anticipated that the regulatory procedures will be completed by mid-2024.

The MGD project, with its existing infrastructure, land, and rights of way (RoWs), is uniquely positioned to provide the power corridor required for offshore wind production. It will also facilitate the establishment of necessary reception facilities, such as substations, and if necessary, converters for connection to the SEN.

The realization of the MGD power corridor fulfills a crucial requirement for the development of offshore wind power in Romania. It will enhance energy security and contribute to the country’s efforts to meet the new EU renewable energy production targets.

Mark Beacom, CEO of BSOG, expressed optimism about the prospects of offshore wind power in the Romanian Black Sea. However, he acknowledged that securing and obtaining permits for a power route from offshore production facilities to the SEN presents significant challenges. These challenges include navigating through highly regulated onshore and offshore areas, such as environmentally protected zones, military areas, tourist destinations, archaeological sites, historical monuments, anchorages, harbors, and shipping lanes. Additionally, it involves acquiring land rights, obtaining social approval from affected communities, ensuring coexistence with fishing activities, and detecting and avoiding unexploded ordnances (UXOs). Beacom highlighted that the MGD infrastructure has already addressed these challenges.

In its first year of gas production, the MGD project exceeded BSOG’s initial expectations by delivering 1 billion cubic meters (Bcm) of gas. This achievement occurred one month ahead of schedule. Successful tests conducted in March 2023 to increase production capacity have prompted discussions with authorities regarding a potential 25% increase in daily production in the fourth quarter of 2023.

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