OMV encounters large gas reserves in Australia

OMV has discovered an enormous gas field in Australia.The Austrian energy sector giant said today (Thurs) the amount of gas suspected in the Zola 1 exploration zone on the north-western Australian coast may be enough to cover the whole of Austria’s demand for four to five years. OMV – which cooperates with international companies in exploring the area – said further drillings were needed to find out how much gas could be produced in the area.Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company IPIC said it could imagine increasing its investment in OMV. IPIC – one of the oil-rich emirate’s sovereign wealth funds – holds a 20 per cent stake in the Vienna-based company. IPIC invested 33.24 billion Euros in firms across the globe last year.There have been rumours OMV was considering a capital increase. Social Democratic (SPÖ) economy affairs spokesman Christoph Matznetter suggested the Republic of Austria – which holds a 31.5 per cent interest in OMV via Industry-Holding Stock Corporation ÖIAG – should participate in such a process.Former OMV vice chief Gerhard Roiss took over from Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer as CEO earlier this month. Roiss said in his first speech as new boss that OMV will draw more attention to the production of and trade with gas as well as to renewable energy technologies instead of becoming busier in the oil business.OMV had a turnover of 23.32 billion Euros and net profits of 921 million Euros last year. The company has around 31,400 staff in the world. It is listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange (WBAG). One OMV share was worth 32.32 Euros at 10am today, up from 30.25 Euros on 23 February.