Austrian energy group OMV says retooling paid off

Company one of the main movers in the Iranian and Libyan energy sectors.
By Daniel J. Graeber  |  Feb. 16, 2017 at 6:50 AM
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Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Austrian energy company OMV said Thursday it turned the corner by generating free cash flow and reprioritizing its asset base.

The company reported quarterly revenue of $5.7 billion, up 7.2 percent from the same quarter the previous year. Its net loss of $203 million was far less than what was reported for fourth quarter 2015 and the company said it was proposing an increase in dividends of about 20 percent.

Chairman and CEO Rainer Seele said the results highlight steps taken to reshape a portfolio that once relied heavily on the North Sea. Last year, the company grabbed a tighter hold on one of the more promising oil prospects in Libya.

"The year 2016 was one of transformation for OMV," he said in a statement.

OMV started 2017 where it left off last year. One of the early European movers into an opening Iranian energy sector, the company in January signed new arrangements for potential work with Iran's Dana Energy Co., a player in exploration and development.

Earlier this month, OMV said the improved political and security situation Libya meant it was able to start production at two of the country's larger oil fields.

Those are significant because Iran is the only member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries with room for production growth under a multilateral deal to curb output. Libya, meanwhile, is exempt from the deal so it can rely on its oil wealth to help stabilize the country.

In broader terms, OMV said its divestment efforts last year generated $1.8 billion in proceeds. Spending this year was targeted at around $2.1 billion, about 9 percent less than last year.

No target for production was offered.

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