US-based Lufkin Industries, the oilfield equipment maker, is the latest in a series of companies that have decided to establish or develop their local operations. The equipment maker inaugurated a USD 140 million plant in the city of Ploiesti, which was the biggest investment in the company’s history. The government provided EUR 28 million in state aid in an effort to help the firm build a larger facility and create more jobs.

Romania’s relationship with the US has expanded from the military and security fields, into technology exchange, education and the environment, said President Traian Basescu during Lufkin’s inauguration event. He said the latest investments were made under the aegis of the Joint Declaration of Strategic Partnership for the 21st century between the US and Romania, which was sealed in the autumn of 2011.

American carmaker Ford started to manufacture its B-max model in Craiova last year but production was severely impacted by weak European demand. The company made 30,217 vehicles last year, representing around 30 percent of the initial estimated output, according to media reports. The Craiova plant, which also hosts production lines for engines, became operational in June.

US software producer Oracle is set to invest another EUR 100 million in Romania, said Dan Sova, the delegate minister for large infrastructure projects and foreign investments, in May.

In the energy sector, oil and gas company ExxonMobil has continued exploration activities in the Black Sea along with Austria’s OMV Petrom. The companies spend around EUR 1 million per day in Romania’s offshore area, where they are searching for oil and gas deposits. Meanwhile, Chevron has been granted the right to start drilling for shale gas in the country.

The food industry, automotive, IT&C, energy and environmental protection have been highly regarded sectors by US investors. The development of industrial clusters in IT and aeronautics was mentioned as an additional means to increase the local presence of American companies. (source: