OMV wants to focus Iran push on its existing oil finds
VIENNA: Austrian energy group OMV wants its expansion in Iran to focus on the oilfields it has already discovered and it is prepared to invest only a limited amount there, Chief Executive Rainer Seele said yesterday.
Seele, who is preparing a new strategy aimed at adapting to low oil prices and expanding production cost-efficiently, said he had no interest in a much more expensive gas project in Iran, apparently referring to the massive South Pars gas field. “At the end of the day for us it is not simply about producing oil or gas-we want to make profits,” he said at a joint event with Gerhard Schroeder, the former German chancellor who is now an executive for the pipeline consortium Nord Stream.
OMV is jostling with many other companies seeking to do business with Iran as economic sanctions look likely to be lifted under a landmark deal reached this summer between Tehran and world powers over the Iranian nuclear program.
While OMV was keen to move as soon as sanctions are lifted, which he expected to happen in the first or second quarter, Seele said the economic conditions had to be right, and the company would focus on the fields it knows best. “We discovered two oilfields there,” Seele said. “We have the advantage that we are interested specifically in those fields that we discovered ourselves. We do not first have to do a seismic evaluation, and we have a very precise idea of the quality the oilfields have, and of the required development methods.”
OMV made a discovery at the Mehr block in western Iran, but the company declined to name the two fields Seele referred to. Seele also appeared to rule out bigger investments in Iran. “There is a very, very big gas field,” Seele said, apparently referring to South Pars. “If you want to get involved in such a business in Iran, the first question that will be asked is ‘How many billions have you brought with you?’”
OMV would make its big investments elsewhere, he said. “That is certainly not the strategy we are pursuing. We are primarily interested in investing here in Austria, in investing in the North Sea, and in having the rest of the portfolio balanced in such a way that a smaller Iranian activity fits inside it.” — Reuters