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Moldova (the Republic of Moldova) is land-locked, bordering Romania (west) and Ukraine (north, east, and south). A strip of land in the east has been under the control of Transnistria (or Trans-Dniester) since 1990.
Humans have lived in Moldova for thousands of years. The area was ruled by Rome from around 100 AD and then by the Byzantines. From 476 AD it was repeatedly invaded until the Principality of Moldavia was founded in 1359 including parts of Romania and Ukraine.
In 1538 the Principality was taken into the Ottoman Empire with partial autonomy. In 1812 the east (Transnistria or Moldavia) was ceded to the Russian Empire. The west (Moldova) merged with Romania in 1859 until 1871 when it became the Bessarabia Governate (including part of Ukraine), finally losing all autonomy to Russia.
During the Russian Revolution in 1917 a Bessarabian parliament was elected which voted to re-unite with Romania whilst Transnistria became a Soviet Republic (Moldavian ASSR). Romania was then forced to cede Bessarabia to the Soviets after World War 2 who incorporated it into the Moldova SSR and installed industries.
Resistance against the Soviets was subdued until Modlovan independence in 1991. Transnistria formed an (unrecognised) republic, fearing reunion with Romania. Moldova is now a poor country with remittances from Moldovans abroad a significant part of its service sector economy.
Moldova is land-locked, although geographically very close to the Black Sea. It mostly lies between two rivers; the Dniester on the east and the Prut (a tributary of the Danube) on the west, both flowing into the Black Sea in Romania.
Most of the country is underlain by the Moldavian Plateau, east of the Carpathian Mountains. The plateau is a wide area of hills with the highest point at only 430m.
In southern Moldova very small volumes of oil, in the Valeni field within the Cahul district, are produced from complex, disrupted reservoirs of the Carpathian sedimentary basin. Valeni is an extension of the small Sivita field over the border in Romania.
A number of gas discoveries were also drilled in the 1950s and 1960s in the same areas, south of the country near the border with Romania. Small volumes of gas were produced from some of these discoveries at Vistorovca and Baimaclia.
However, the geology is generally unfavourable for the accumulation of significant volumes of oil and gas and Globalshift believes that Moldova is unlikely to achieve any substantial new production in the future.
Map and National Flag
Land area (sq kms)
Oil prod (000s b/d)
Gas prod (bcm/yr)
Oil cons (000s b/d)
Gas cons (bcm/yr)
Moldova is a democratic republic. The head of state is the President elected by the Moldovan Parliament.
The president appoints a prime minister who is head of government and who assembles a cabinet. The legislative body is the unicameral 101-member Moldovan Parliament elected by popular vote every 4 years.
MoldovaGaz, part owned by Russia and Moldova controls gas distribution in the country. Tiraspoltransgas-Pridnestrovie is the largest gas supplier in Transnistria, controlled by Gazprom. It handles Russian gas sent to the rest of Moldova and further west.
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