Patriciu: Examination of sapropelic mud in Black Sea could last 2-3 years

Romanian tycoon Dinu Patriciu told Realitatea FM news radio that Marine Resources Exploration International SRL, to whom 9,000 sq km continental shelf of Black Sea were leased, has only few tens of employees, and that investments in Black Sea pose mounting risks and costs.

“The company in Romania has only few tens of employees and works with several subcontractors. Six expeditions have been conducted so far, utilizing research vessels and thousand of sediment cores have been collected and investigated by several universities and research institutes across the world, and the company is part of Rompetrol Holding – not to be confused with The Rompetrol Group – it is a company 100% owned by me, and whose financial status has many zeros at the end. Over two billion dollars,” Dinu Patriciu told Realitatea FM. He added that the license was public and that it was won through a tender.

“The area has a major potential of alternative energy, but as it is currently under investigation, it is too early to talk profits and benefits, but I can speak about risks and costs. So far, we spent over 20 million dollars last year only. Hundreds of scientists from research and technological institutes work on this project. For the time being, we need to see if the project is economically viable. No quantitative estimation of resources can be made until then, nor how productive the project could be”, Patriciu added.

Nevertheless, the businessman is convinced on the existence of these resources, but under no circumstances can they be quantified. “It will probably last another two-three years. It is not a loss, but an investment which, as any other investment, carries a risk as well as a potential gain”, he added.

You always get a business in energy field off the ground by investigating and exploring, Dinu Patriciu continued.

“Sapropel is an organic-rich sediment in bottom waters. It has been thought to be an inaccessible resource, or reachable only with the use of machineries able to perform deep-water operations. I should mention the fact we have invested in the identification of other resources such as petrol, natural gas, sulphuretted hydrogen, methane hydrates or other forms of hydrocarbons. With the exploration activities being underway, I can draw some conclusions. The present marine exploration project, according to the assigned license, examines this sediment called sapropel. It is a sediment rich in organic matter and has a huge potential of being developed into a wide array of products, including a new form of alternative energy”, Dinu Patriciu added.

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