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28 July 2023

OMV Gas Discovery and LNG Deal

OMV, an energy company based in Austria, has announced a momentous gas discovery within its home country, marking the largest domestic gas find of this century. This landmark discovery aligns with OMV's signing of a significant long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply agreement with BP, a global supermajor.

The newly confirmed natural gas discovery, known as the Wittau Tief-2a deep exploration well, stands out as OMV's most significant find in four decades. The company's Chief Executive, Alfred Stern, emphasized the strategic importance of this discovery. He stated, "This new find greatly enhances our strategy to diversify our natural gas supply sources. It holds the potential to significantly contribute to our customers' natural gas needs, particularly in Austria, where we anticipate a boost in local production."

The Wittau Tief-2a well, operated by OMV, is situated in Lower Austria and was drilled to a final depth of 5,000 meters after an extensive five-month operation. Preliminary assessments indicate the presence of approximately 48 terawatt hours or 28 million barrels of oil equivalent in potential recoverable resources.

Following comprehensive development efforts, OMV foresees a substantial 50% increase in its natural gas production within Austria. The company is actively exploring options for further evaluation of the field and is considering a streamlined development approach in collaboration with its operated gas facility in Aderklaa, located roughly 10 kilometers away from the discovery site.

Stern, speaking during a conference call, underscored the economic viability of this project, even within the current context of relatively low gas prices in Europe.

In its recent financial report, OMV outlined expectations for a decline of over 8% in its oil and gas production for the entire year of 2023. This reduction is attributed to factors including the exclusion of volumes produced in partnership with Gazprom in Russia, as well as natural decline in Norway and Romania.

For the current year, OMV has earmarked an investment ranging between €200 million (approximately US$219.2 million) and €250 million for exploration and appraisal endeavors, compared to €202 million allocated in the previous year.

Tax Challenges and Financial Performance

The second-quarter 2023 financial report reveals a 39% decrease in OMV's consolidated sales revenues, amounting to approximately €9 billion, largely influenced by the decline in commodity prices. Sequentially, second-quarter sales revenues registered an 18% reduction compared to the first quarter of the year.

The company's overall tax rate underwent a substantial increase, reaching 61% during the second quarter of 2023, as opposed to 31% in the corresponding period of the prior year. This shift is attributed to factors such as the solidarity contribution on refined crude oil in Romania and a heightened tax rate for energy companies.

Net income experienced a significant decline, dropping to €326 million in comparison to €2.5 billion recorded in the second quarter of 2022. Net income attributable to stockholders of the parent also saw a decrease, amounting to €380 million as compared to €2 billion in the previous year.