OMV firms already-strong ties with Russia

OMV AG is firming its traditionally strong ties with Russia.

It recently agreed to participate with state-owned Gazprom in gas development in West Siberia and in a group led by Gazprom to expand the trans-Baltic Nord Stream gas pipeline.

This month it invited former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, now chairman of the Nord Stream shareholder’s committee, to meet with Chief Executive Officer Rainer Seele and 350 guests at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna.

“Russia plays a central role in the question of how we Europeans can secure our energy supply,” Schroeder, whose friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin has been controversial in Germany, said at the Nov. 9 event. “Norway and Russia are the most secure and reliable energy partners for Europe.”

In September, OMV joined other signatories of a shareholders’ agreement to form New European Pipeline AG, which plans to lay the twin Nord Stream 2 pipeline alongside the 1,224-km Nord Stream system between Vyborg, Russia, and Greifswald, Germany (OGJ Online, Oct. 9, 2012).

Gazprom is to own 51% of the new company. E.On AG, Shell, OMV, and BASF/Wintershall will own 10% interests each. ENGIE will own 9%.

Gazprom also owns 51% of Nord Stream AG, owner of the existing twin pipeline. Other interests are BASF/Wintershall and E.On, 15.5% each, and Gasunie and GDF Suez, 9% each.

OMV and Gazprom also signed an agreement on main terms and conditions of an asset swap under which OMV would acquire a 24.98% interest in the development of Blocks 4A and 5A of the Lower Cretaceous Achimov deposit of Urengoy oil, gas, and condensate field “in exchange for Gazprom’s participation in OMV assets,” according to an OMV statement.

Gazprom entered a similar deal for Achimov development with Wintershall in September (OGJ Online, Oct. 2, 2015).

More recently, OMV and Gazprom have discussed the supply of oil to OMV from Gazprom companies.

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