Romania president says energy sufficiency possible

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BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Romania's president said Monday that the country could become energy-sufficient before the end of the decade due to the discovery of large gas reserves offshore in the Black Sea.

Traian Basescu spoke after visiting U.S. oil company ExxonMobil's drilling platform in the Black Sea.

The Romanian leader said gas reserves of some 100 billion cubic meters (131 billion cubic yards) could be extracted from the area after 2015. However, official estimates from Austrian oil company OMV and ExxonMobil in February put the figure at 42 to 84 billion cubic meters (55 to 110 billion cubic yards), estimates OMV in Vienna said had not changed Monday.

Basescu says Romania uses about 14 billion cubic meters (18.31 billion cubic yards) per year, of which about 3 billion cubic meters (3.92 billion cubic yards) is imported.

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