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The 25-year anniversary of the U.S.-Romania Strategic Partnership comes at a paramount time for the Romanian energy sector, according to Matei Balaita, trade and economic counselor at the Embassy of Romania in the U.S.

“We feel that the recent slew of opportunities in energy and digitization in Romania could take the economic relationship to another level,” Balaita told Cornerstone’s Jack Belcher on the latest installment of Energy Policy Watch.

Balaita is a business developer with over 25 years of experience in both the public and private sectors. In his current role, he focuses on facilitating the flow of trade and investment opportunities between the U.S. and Romania.

With the energy crisis unfolding in Europe, opportunities for trade investment available for U.S. companies in the Romanian energy sector, in particular, have grown. These opportunities not only include LNG exports but also for new facilities to be built such as power plants and infrastructure.

“Natural gas will be very important in the future energy mix of Romania,” Balaita said. “Natural gas defined as a bridge fuel will play an important role of replacing the energy produced from coal especially in our case.”

Natural gas will also be important in curtailing emissions as part of Romania’s efforts in the EU and the decarbonization of the economy.

“We believe that natural gas will also support a takeover of new energy carriers like hydrogen, biogas,” he said. “It will also shape the future energy system at the European level.”

In addition to natural gas and LNG infrastructure, Balaita also spoke about the importance of the Black Sea and Romgaz’s pending acquisition from Exxon Mobil for over $1 billion. See below for more on this dynamic discussion between Balaita and Cornerstone’s Jack Belcher on the latest installment of Energy Policy Watch.

To learn more about investment opportunities in the Romanian energy sector, visit or contact Matei Balaita.

Jump to a topic:

  • 1:35 — Introduction to opportunities
  • 3:35 — Current energy situation
  • 4:50 — Natural gas needs
  • 6:05 — Black Sea resources
  • 7:50 — Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
  • 9:30 — How the U.S. can help
  • 10:50 — U.S. energy policies
  • 12:05 — American Security Project / Eastern European Institute for Trade
  • 14:05 — Oil and gas opportunities
  • 16:00 — Nuclear and renewables

Energy Policy Watch is a partnership between Hart Energy and Cornerstone to bring regular video updates on legislative and regulatory actions affecting the energy industry. Guests range from key representatives or congressional staff to relevant cabinet-level officials and executive branch personnel. View More Energy Policy Watch Episodes Here.