Austrian oil, gas giant OMV announces €1.8bn write-downs

GMT 19:00 2016 Saturday ,30 January

Arab Today, arab today Austrian oil, gas giant OMV announces €1.8bn write-downs

Austrian oil, gas giant OMV announces €1.8bn write-downs
Vlenna - XINHUA

Austria's largest oil and gas company OMV has booked fourth quarter 2015 write-downs of 1.5 billion euros (1.63 billion U.S. dollars) to its upstream business due to the drop in oil and gas prices, it announced on Friday.

In addition, it announced write-downs of 300 million euros to downstream operations.

The figures come on the back of earlier write-downs valued at a total of 1 billion euros in the third quarter.

The Austrian Press Agency quoted company CEO Rainer Seele as saying he does not foresee any further such impairments in 2016 as he is expecting the price of Brent crude oil to recover to 40 U.S. dollars a barrel.

The company is also expecting oil price to increase further to 55 U.S. dollars a barrel in 2017, and subsequently up to 65 U.S. dollars and 70 U.S. dollars in 2018 and 2019.

In addition to the drop in oil prices, the company is reportedly having production difficulties in its operations in Libya and Yemen.

Its fourth quarter production was as a result reduced to an average 309,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (BOE/D), down from 318,000 BOE/D in the final quarter of 2014.

In response to the new trends, OMV is to unveil a new strategy on February 18, to supersede the existing strategy implemented under former CEO Gerhard Roiss that was designed to keep the company competitive at 50 U.S. dollars a barrel.

Seele said part of the new direction the company will take will be to shift production to countries with low costs, adding "we are specifically thinking of Abu Dhabi, Iran, and Russia."

He additionally plans to cut spending on investments and exploration, as well as to cut existing production costs by renegotiating the company's contracts. Enditem

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