BUCHAREST, Romania, June 9 (UPI) -- An editorial in a leading Romanian journal has called the "oil mafia" a threat to national security.
Romania Libera said Thursday the "mafia" is a threat because dominates the country's energy market.
Romania joined the European Union in 2007 and Brussels has repeatedly expressed concerns about of corruption in the country.
Resignations on corruption charges are virtually unknown in Romania, and bribery scandals are so common that they rarely make international news. Romania Libera claims shady deals of the "petrol gray" market "discreetly span the entire country."
The implications of the corruption charges extend beyond Romania, as in August 2007 the Kazakhstan's KazmunyGas acquired 75 percent of Rompetrol's shares, Romania's largest corporation and the largest gas and oil producer in Eastern Europe, from its owner Dinu Patriciu for approximately $ 2.7 billion.
Despite such concerns, about two dozen international energy groups are fighting for the right to drill for oil and gas offshore of Romania's Black Sea coastline following auctions organized by Romania's National Agency for Mineral Resources. Bidders include ExxonMobil and Chevron, France's Total, Russia's LukOil Overseas, Spain's Repsol Exploracion, the Uniuted Kingdom's Melrose Resources, Kazakhstan's Rompetrol, Austria's OMV-owned Petrom, Romania's Romgaz and Hungary's MoL.