Romania’s desire to promote and accelerate projects in the natural gas sector, including projects of common interest (“PCIs”), is reflected in the recently promulgated draft Law no. 185/2016 which addresses the necessary measures for implementing national interest projects in the natural gas sector. PCIs approved by the government are considered necessary for national security and safety and are of practical importance.

The main issues addressed in this law relate to the rights granted to promoters of projects in the natural gas sector. The rights addressed relate to: access, use and exercise of property rights over land necessary for carrying out the construction projects, development, modernisation, operation, repairs, and maintenance of the natural gas infrastructure. The law also establishes significant exceptions to special regulations governing certain types of land protected with a designated scope (agricultural, forestry, natural habitats, etc.), with a view to accelerate the implementation and development of PCIs.

The Bucharest Energy team led by Varinia Radu has been actively involved in drafting the primary legislation regarding license holders’ ability to access and use the private land overlapping the oil and gas perimeters. The new government has announced that new draft bills related to the energy sector will be made available for public consultations in early 2017.