BUCHAREST, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Romania will finish the necessary investments to export natural gas to Hungary by 2020, according to an agreement signed on Monday by the foreign ministers of the two countries.
Great quantities of natural gas extracted from the Black Sea will be delivered to Hungary, starting with 2020, announced visiting Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.
The Hungarian companies have already ordered the entire capacity of 4.4 billion cubic meters per year of the supply pipeline connecting Romania to Hungary, Szijjarto said.
It is noticeable that there is no mention of the agreement in the communique of the Romanian Foreign Ministry concerning the meeting of the two foreign ministers, except that the two officials highlighted the importance of diversifying routes and sources of supply in order to ensure energy security at regional and European level.
As a result, the Romanian official Agerpres news agency had to quote the Hungarian MTI news agency for this coverage.
"This is the first opportunity Hungary has had in the last decades in buying larger quantities of natural gas from a source other than Russia," Szijjarto said, adding that this cooperation agreement represents a historic progress for ensuring Hungary's energy security.
Gas pipe Arad-Szeged came into operation for years on the southwestern border of Romania with Hungary, but only small amounts of natural gas were exported to Hungary through the pipeline. More investments are required in order to reach the designed maximum transmission capacity, an annual amount of 4.4 billion cubic meters of gas.
Romania has the third largest natural gas reserves within the European Union and new reserves are still being discovered. With domestic gas production within the EU declining, the country could play an important role in the regional market.