On 28 April 2016, the Romanian Ministry of Energy published the draft amendment to the Electricity and Natural Gas Law and requested consultation. The draft amendment is aligned with EU Regulation no. 994/2010 concerning measures to safeguard the security of the gas supply and improves Romanian authorities’ ability to respond to gas disruptions.

The draft amendment aims to reduce the risk of future gas supply crises by guarantying gas supplies to households and other protected customers for a certain period of time, even in the case of a failure of the main gas infrastructure in the country. Under the draft amendment, the category of “protected customers” includes: all household customers connected to a gas distribution network; public authorities and any other public or private entity which provides medical and social assistance services (provided that these additional customers do not represent more than 20% of the final gas usage); and district heating installations (provided that these installations are not able to switch to other fuels and are connected to a gas distribution or transmission network). 

A special legal regime will be applied to protected customers in order to ensure their gas supply during emergency situations. The draft amendment introduces the obligation for gas producers, gas suppliers and transmission systems operators to conclude different agreements with protected customers and also to perform these agreements with priority during emergency situations.