international magazine
11-10-2013 10:39


Global Business Club is delighted to have the opportunity to ask a few questions to Mrs Cvete Koneska, Associate Analyst, Europe, Global Risk Analysis, Control Risks, about overcoming the political, integrity and investment risks in the Black Sea Region. Mrs Cvete Koneska will present a paper in the session“Understanding the hydrocarbon potential, latest developments and regulatory framework in the Black Sea Region” at the Black Sea Offshore Conference on 30 October in Bucharest.

1. In your opinion, what is the current geopolitical and economic landscape in countries involved in Black Sea?

At present the region appears to be in a state of flux, both economically and politically. The countries in this region are gradually recovering from the effects of the global and European economic crisis and seeking for projects and initiatives that would boost their attractiveness for foreign investors.

Economic performance varies considerably and there are very few joint, regional initiatives for overcoming economic challenges in the region. EU member states, such as Romania and Bulgaria, have a stronger policy anchor in the EU and tend to be economically oriented towards the EU, while Turkey’s recent positive economic picture is facing new challenges as investor sentiment has deteriorated.

The countries in the Black Sea region have diverse political, legal and regulatory systems, and although the region is politically more stable than a decade ago, things can still quickly change. Changes of government leading to radical policy shifts and disputed elections could derail political stability in the next few years, but overall the region is becoming politically more predictable, which is good news for projects such as offshore oil and gas in the Black Sea.

2. What are the risks and opportunities of foreign companies entering the offshore Black Sea?

There are substantial opportunities in investing in offshore operations in the Black Sea. Primarily, companies considering such investments can tap into new and potentially very profitable sources of oil and gas. Moreover, the geographic vicinity to Western Europe and access to these and other nearby markets presents another advantage for entering offshore in the Black Sea.
However, there are important risks, which potential investors and companies operating in this sector need to be aware of – inadequate infrastructure, lack of necessary legislation and regulation, as well as frequent regulatory changes. Moreover, weak rule of law and widespread corruption also add to the challenges facing companies operating in the Black Sea region.

3. How do you estimate the effectiveness of regional cooperation in the Black Sea?

Regional cooperation in the Black Sea region has improved substantially over the past several years. There are many regional initiatives that could provide good platforms for developing closer cooperation, both at political and economic levels. However, like with regional initiatives elsewhere in Europe, it is up to the countries from the Black Sea region to use the existing structure of regional organisations and forums to advance regional cooperation. The effectiveness of regional cooperation is proportional to the commitment of member countries to maintaining and developing good regional relations.

The development of projects that can benefit the entire Black Sea region, such as the development of offshore oil and gas operations,could strengthen regional cooperation. As governments work together to develop opportunities in this sector the benefits from cooperating will become more tangible and more obvious. But even beyond offshore explorations, there is potential for greater regional cooperation. Although virtually all countries in the region recognize the economic potential of the Black Sea, none is making full use of this potential in economic, transport or even tourism terms. I think in the next few years this potential is going to be better recognized and used by the countries in the region, leading to closer regional cooperation.

4. What should be done to build the required infrastructure to transport the gas from the Black Sea when production starts?

Infrastructure works should ideally begin well before production of gas from the Back Sea starts. Building the necessary transport and energy infrastructure would assist the operations of oil and gas companies interested in investing in this sector in the region. Governments should prioritise infrastructure investments and make use of available regional and European funds to accelerate infrastructure development in the region.

5. Which topics are you going to cover in your presentation at Black Sea Offshore Conference taking place on 29-31 October in Bucharest?

My presentation will provide a comparative analysis of policy making in the energy sector in Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine and its challenges for investors. I will discuss and compare the three countries’ policies and regulatory frameworks regarding exploration and exploitation of offshore oil and gas, their advantages and disadvantages for potential investors and companies already operating in these jurisdictions. I will also focus on the regional picture and reflect on the likely developments and challenges in the next few years.

To meetMrs Cvete Koneska and other prominent industry experts join us at the International Black Sea Offshore Conferencein Bucharest on 29-31 October!

For more information please visit, call +44 (0)845 868 8234 or email

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