July 12, 2024 RomaniaEnglishRussia

The Country Project: Starting over in the Gas Market in 10 steps

punctRomania has sunk continuously during the last 25 years, reaching the point where it reached and even surpassed many critical limits. The gas sector does not distinguish, generally facing the same problems faced by the entire society.

 Without a vision, hypocrisies prevail

 Destroying systems, outdated but functional, has brought instability and chaos. Knead us today to discover the causes of our problems, we should look at the solutions to some problems in the past:

  • breaking ROMGAZ’s (2000) – the destruction of a functional system, it is true statist, but it was done before the construction of the new market economy system.
  • public institutions (2000) – copy-paste by the West, but political populated and used as a “Commando” behind political enemies or unwanted competition,
  • strategic privatizations (2004) – led business efficiency and labor productivity growth in these companies, but without the cost savings to be reflected in the state budget (through dividends, income tax, etc.) or the functioning of the market or reducing price
  • privatization of minority stakes (2008 – 2012) – which had to bring shareholders eager to move things poorly made by companies owned by the state development strategy, but proved interested in obtaining immediate profits,
  • private management (2012) – which was to bring political efficiency, effectiveness, productivity, etc., but it brought insolvencies and bankruptcies multiple energy.

In fact the chaos of today’s gas market has its origins in decisions taken in the last 15 years.

Statist transformation in the capitalist system, in natural gas, remains at 25 years away from understanding the current managers, seeking (in the few moments when I do), only short-term improvements.

What is wrong and wrong is continuing to disregard the fundamental unity of the sector – people (employees ANRE operators, suppliers, consumers, designers, builders) and lack of understanding of the existential purpose-gas – gas sale and purchase. People in the sector need each other to produce results, they need the ability to learn together how to achieve the main objective of the market – transaction.

The relationship between state institutions and market participants, the relationship between shareholders and company leaders in the energy sector etc., is similar to the relationship between teacher and student (boss and subordinate, guard and prisoner, master and slave). The teacher has the answer, the student strives to find the answer. Students know when they have found the right answer, just because the teacher tells them. Students know what to do, just to please the teacher and to pass the class. Operators, suppliers, consumers, designers, constructors etc. only try to please the Bosses/Guards/Masters, missing the chance to improve the system which should actually serve customers.

Added to this external state is a powerful organizational crisis and especially human crisis, where ignorance, fear, complacency and convenience are the elements that were installed slowly but surely in the gas sector.

This situation is due to behavior of institutional leaders, who have assumed the role of omniscient, guardians,… in relation to subordinates and vassals in relation to the political environment or interest groups. This behavior is primarily due to the quality of people occupying these positions, secondly to how the market was formed and developed (services and products), based on the “100% Romanian” principles:

  • we liberalize the market, but WE control it;
  • we make everything transparent, but only WE will know;
  • if you comment, we will SUFFOCATE you with controls and bury you in fines,

The country project Starting over in the gas market in 10 steps sets our vision on restoring NORMALITY in the gas market.



The project is addressed to political parties, civic initiatives, NGOs etc., interested in a NORMAL ROMANIA.

  1. Construction of the legal framework ensuring a free and functional market
    • The Natural Gas Code (rewriting the Gas Law and interventions on the related legislation).
    • Eliminating the regulated gas market.
    • Forcing gas producers/suppliers in Romania to publish Best practice guides on gas sales.
    • Completing the competition legislation and procedures for urgent investigation of these anticompetitive practices
    • Best practice guide for the allocation of metered gas
    • Introducing the notion of daily reserved capacity in the existing points on the entire chain production-transmission-distribution
    • Rewriting the Transmission Network Code from scratch
    • The Distribution Network Code
    • The Storage Facilities Code
    • The Natural Gas Market Code
    • Establishing the Balancing Operator.
    • Introducing mechanisms to ensure flexibility and functionality of the market.
    • Developing cheap guarantee schemes
    • Computerization of gas market activity

 2. Methods and measures for the protection of vulnerable consumers

    • Governmental strategy for protecting vulnerable customers
    • Appointing an institution to apply and coordinate the protection of vulnerable customers
    • Best practice code for licensed suppliers in supporting vulnerable customers
    • Legislative changes in order to reduce the number of vulnerable customers (prepayment of gas, flattening the monthly curve of gas payment).
  1. Rethinking the activity of design-execution-operation of objectives in the gas sector as action intended to boost transactions
    • Rethinking the system for the authorization of persons who are active in the field of design and construction
    • Conditioning multiple specializations at the level of the same person
    • Setting the incompatibility between the activity of design, verification and examination at the level of the same person
    • Obligation of examination by independent experts of works in the gas sector in conditions of opportunity, usefulness, feasibility, reliability, security, safety.
    • Rethinking the philosophy of norms
    • Rethinking performance standards
    • Rethinking the philosophy of distribution systems
    • Re-engineering of the transmission system
    • Re-engineering of the storage activity
    • Rethinking the pricing methodologies
    • Supporting the establishment of the Gas Engineers Union, a professional entity responsible for the professional preparation, training, development and sanctioning
  1. Strengthening/establishing institutions with responsibilities in ensuring the functioning of the gas market
    • Establishing a center of mediation and quick settlement of disputes in the gas market (SAL)
    • Establishing a center of information and dissemination of information on the gas market
    • Changing the organizational behavior of institutions with responsibilities in the gas market
    • Specialized department for the Gas Consumers Protection, within the National Consumer Protection Authority (ANPC), with procedures allowing them self-referral and respond quickly and in a professional manner to all complaints of gas consumers, in order to defend them, to prevent unlawful actions of suppliers and harshly sanction abuses
    • Specialized department within the Competition Council, with procedures allowing them to quickly self-refer to any potential dominant position in the market, in order to prevent, protect, maintain and boost competition, and harshly sanction deviations from the competition principles.
  1. Establishing the National Authority for Dispatching and Energy Security
    • Establishing an entity with role of National Authority for Dispatching and Energy Security unique for all forms of energy
    • Fulfilling the role of Competent Authority (CA) in the gas sector, ensuring the security of offshore activities, establishing and maintaining a minimum level of reserves of oil and petroleum products
  1. Integrating Romania in the Energy Union regarding the gas market
    • Appointing the entity responsible for Romania/s integration in the Energy Union
    • Drawing up the strategy of integration in the Energy Union
  1. Human resource development and improvement in the gas sector
    • Appointing the entity responsible for the security of human resources needed for the operation of the gas sector
    • Developing programs for studies and training in accordance with the requirements of the gas market
  1. Developing investments and eliminating investment barriers in the gas sector
    • Eliminating limitations on access to land
    • Eliminating limitations that make impossible the use of public roads for the construction of gas objectives
    • Simplifying the approval and permitting processes for investment works
    • Harmonization between the laws on energy and other Romanian and EU laws
    • Stability of the legislative framework and predictability in the energy sector
    • Public policies in line with Romania’s interest
  1. Rethinking the management of state ownership and private management for companies with state capital in the gas sector
  1. Imposing a unitary Energy Governance in companies and institutions in the gas sector.

The team of the Intelligent Energy Association is at your disposal, will continue to organize round table meetings to prepare each steps of this country Project, will publish points of view, opinions and solutions, will initiate legislative changes and will not hesitate to attack in court abusive legislation in the gas market.

Please send us your interest for this project at energiainteligenta@gmail.com

Translated from Romanian by Romaniascout.