“If Exxon Mobil doesn’t decide whether to invest in the Romanian Black Sea gas field project by September, then Hungary will again be forced to begin negotiations with Russia on another long-term gas shipment agreement”, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó told the Reuters news agency in Houston, where he attended the official opening of Hungary’s new diplomatic and trade representation.

“Exxon Mobil could transform Europe’s energy supply, but the American company must now come to a final decision on the investment”, Hungary’s chief diplomat said. “If it fails to do so by September then I will have to conclude another long-term agreement with Russia”, he added. The American-Austrian consortium set up with the involvement of Exxon Mobil and Austrian oil company OMV owns the rights to extract natural gas from Romania’s Black Sea gas fields. The recently discovered gas field could contain 42-84 billion cubic metres of natural gas.

Mr. Szijjártó told the press that Hungary is forced to import natural gas, 85 percent of which is consumed by households. According to the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, “the issue is whether we will be capable of diversifying our gas imports, and this depends on four of our allies: Croatia, Romania, the United States and Austria”. “The construction of the LNG terminal at the Croatian island of Krk  would contribute to the diversification of the Eastern European logistics system that was established during the Cold War when the Soviet Union dominated Central and Eastern Europe”, Mr. Szijjártó added.