Austria's OMV pays big to add Russian gas to its portfolio

The company said the acquisition of a share in one of Russia's largest gas fields is a feather in its cap.

By Daniel J. Graeber

Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Austrian energy company OMV said Friday it added 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent to daily production with the completion of the acquisition of Russian assets.

For $2 billion, the company said it completed the acquisition of the 24.9 percent stake held by Russian energy company Uniper in the Yuzhno Russkoye natural gas field located in Western Siberia. The field is one of the largest in Russia and the Austrian company said it grabbed recoverable resources of 580 million barrels of oil equivalent.


OMV Chairman and CEO Rainer Seele said the closing of the deal is a milestone for a strategy to put Russia at the center of its portfolio objective.

"Our stake in Yuzhno Russkoye adds 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day to OMV´s production," he said in a statement. "This boosts OMV´s total production to more than 430,000 boe/d."

Russia has some of the largest natural gas reserves in the world and serves as one of the primary exporters to European and Asian economies. By company, Russian energy company Gazprom, co-owned by the government, is one of the main gas producers.

Uniper said that, even though it was leaving behind one of the premier gas basins in Russia, it was still focused on operations in the country by servicing European consumer needs and working with its "long-standing partner, Gazprom."


The Russian company added the sale was part of an effort to cut back on debt. Ratings agency Standard & Poor's upgraded Uniper's credit rating in April, but held back on further strengthening in September.

OMV reported an operating net profit in the third quarter of $933 million, up 52 percent from the same period last year.

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