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Tue 20 Mar 2007 11:19 AM

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OMV set to build on strong growth in 2006

An expanding exploration and production portfolio will help OMV to boost its sales in the Austrian gas market.

Austrian firm, OMV has boosted its sales during 2006 to € 19 billion, an increase of 22% for the year. The company also enjoyed a net income rise of 11% over the same period compared with 2005.

"We have a successful profitable growth strategy in place, with a strong exploration and production portfolio," said Thomas Huemer, speaking on behalf of OMV. "We have market leadership in Central Europe in terms of market share, refinery capacity, oil and gas production and profitability."

The company plans to expand its gas division in addition to its exploration and production and refinery and marketing businesses. OMV claims this will be achieved by expanding its subsidiaries EconGas in Austria, Italy and Germany and Petrom in Romania. OMV is also involved with the Nabucco pipeline project, a 3 300 km proposed natural gas pipeline that will go through Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary at a cost of US $5.8 billion.

"The goal is to build a pipeline from Turkey to Austria, connecting the reserves of the Caspian region with Europe, where gas demand is strongly increasing," said Huemer. "The project will begin in 2008, with first gas planned for 2012. OMV is also engaged in planning a new LNG terminal in Croatia, for which a feasibility study is currently underway. Operation will start in 2012 and capacity should amount to 10 billion m

per year."

The company said building infrastructure to bring more gas to Europe and diversifying the routes would ultimately increase the security of the gas supply in the long term. OMV invested more in exploration and production during 2006 than ever before in an effort to increase its daily oil and gas production from 324 000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe/d), to 500 000 boe/d by 2010.

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