By Stanley Carvalho
ABU DHABI, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Austrian energy group OMV and its partners aim to boost oil output from Yemen by 50 percent if conditions allow, a senior executive told Reuters on Tuesday.
Erwin Kroell, senior vice president for the Middle East and Caspian, said plans to raise production to 30,000 barrels per day from 20,000 on average now hinged on putting in place security measures to protect assets and people.
“Higher production depends on the security situation and oil prices playing a role,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of an industry conference.
An OMV spokesman in Vienna said Kroell was referring to the theoretical potential output at the Yemen field, in which OMV has a 30 percent stake. Boosting output by half would give OMV 11,000 barrels per day, up from 7,000 now, but this was unrealistic at present, the spokesman added.
OMV’s Middle East region operates in Yemen, Pakistan, Iraqi Kurdistan and the United Arab Emirates.
In Pakistan, OMV’s gas production through a subsidiary is 60,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. If current exploration efforts succeed it plans to expand output, Kroell said.
He said OMV, like others in the industry, was keeping tight controls on spending given low oil prices.
OMV’s Romanian arm Petrom and its partner Exxon Mobil are investigating a large gas find in the Black Sea whose exact volume will be known once an appraisal programme wraps up in a year or two, Kroell said.
“We don’t know the final volumes because we must know how much excess gas will be available, how much will be consumed in the rest of the markets. We don’t have answers to those questions yet and there are too many scenarios,” he said.
He said the cancellation of the proposed South Stream and Nabucco gas pipelines had no impact on OMV. “So many pipelines everywhere have not materialised. Ten years from now there will be a pipeline,” he said.
He said OMV’s decision to launch a new downstream division, integrating the gas and power divisions into Refining and Marketing, would not entail big changes. “If we had three divisions, now it is two. Overall not much (will) change and we will try to materialise the synergies that we have.” (Additional reporting by Alexandra Schwarz-Goerlich, Writing by Michael Shields, editing by David Evans)