OMV chief expects much better results this year

Austrian oil and gas producer OMV’s chief Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer has said he expects his firm to have much better results this year than in 2009.Ruttenstorfer said today that predictions were difficult at present, especially given the recent sharp decline in the price of OMV’s stock, but said the plunging Euro would be “positive” for the firm over the short term since the appreciating dollar would make crude oil more valuable.Ruttenstorfer said the higher price of crude oil and the firm’s three-year-old cost-cutting programme had helped it during the first quarter of 2010 by reducing costs by some 300 million Euros.He also noted that OMV had a programme of investment amounting to 2.8 billion Euros, especially in important Habban Block S2 in Yemen. He said it was very good that OMV’s cash-flow had risen enough to enable it to afford that much investment.The OMV chief said the firm would participate in Romanian subsidiary Petrom’s future capital increase using its reserve funds.He added that the firm saw growth potential of more than five per cent in Turkey and its neighbours.Ruttenstorfer also noted that the question of an oil pipeline from Bratislava to Vienna for direct delivery of Russian oil to Austria was “in no way a critical strategic question for OMV.”Acknowledging that the pipeline would give both Slovakia and Austria more delivery security, he said it was a question to be decided by the governments of both countries.