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E&P Business

The key strategic focus of the business remains to increase the share of natural gas over that of crude oil and reduce carbon intensity across the portfolio. In 2023, E&P progressed well with its major natural gas development projects: Neptun (Romania), Jerun (Malaysia), and Berling (Norway).

Total average hydrocarbon production came in at 364  for 2023, with a natural gas share of around 47%.

A key element in OMV’s strategy in the Energy segment is to actively manage and optimize the upstream asset portfolio for the three core regions, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, and North Sea. In this context, on February 27, 2023, OMV announced the start of the sales process for the divestment of its E&P assets in the Asia-Pacific region: a 50% stake in Sapura OMV Upstream Sdn. Bhd. and 100% of the shares in OMV New Zealand Limited. On January 31, 2024, OMV signed an agreement to divest its 50% shareholding in Malaysia’s SapuraOMV Upstream Sdn. Bhd. to TotalEnergies for an overall cash consideration of USD 903 . This amount includes the full repayment of the outstanding USD 350 mn shareholder loan granted by OMV to SapuraOMV, as well as net working capital and other elements with the consideration being subject to closing adjustments. The divestment is anticipated to close around the end of the first half of 2024, in particular subject to regulatory approvals. The sales process for 100% of the shares in OMV New Zealand will continue separately.

In Yemen, the sales process for OMV’s assets in the country is ongoing.

Central and Eastern Europe

In Romania, 45 new wells and sidetracks were drilled, 497 workover jobs, and 720 subsurface abandonments were performed in 2023.

For the first time in Europe, OMV Petrom used the Ultra Short Radius (USR) technology for drilling. Applied to existing wells with available surface facilities, this technology reduces the overall by 40–50%, compared to standard vertical wells. The first USR well was spud in 2023.

The major planned maintenance works were successfully and safely finalized, on time and on budget, for both offshore and onshore facilities. OMV Petrom continued to focus on the most profitable barrels through assessing selective divestments opportunities.

By the end of 2023, about 77% of OMV Petrom’s internal electricity consumption was covered by producing electrical and thermal energy mainly out of equity gas that couldn’t be monetized and from own renewable energy sources.

In 2023, OMV Austria placed significant emphasis on several projects like the Wittau Development, Strasshof Tief 17, natural gas storage expansion, the Alkali smart oil recovery (SOR) pilot and Flysch. Wittau represents the largest natural gas discovery in Austria in 40 years. The Strasshof Tief 17 well was spud in November 2023.

The Alkali SOR pilot was commissioned in Q2/23 to inject soft water, viscous, and alkali water into the reservoirs – we expect better injectivity and increased recovery. Flysch Phase 1 is a drilling project with the aim of confirming the further development potential of hydrocarbon deposits in Flysch source rock with selected production-enhancing technologies. With the development of the 16th natural gas storage facility, OMV Austria has not only strengthened the security of supply for our customers, but has also shown how quickly OMV can respond to changing market situations.

In addition, OMV Austria continuously optimized its plants in order to reduce the CO2 footprint. Gas optimization projects and the increased workover capacities counteract the natural decline in production and contribute to the Austrian energy supply.

Middle East and Africa

In 2023, the Middle East and Africa region delivered strong production results despite a challenging security situation in Kurdistan and Yemen and ongoing quota restrictions.

In the , strong production output was achieved due to + quota restrictions revision and the continued high uptime and reliability of the offshore facilities in Umm Lulu and SARB. In May 2023, the first delivery of Umm Lulu (ULL) crude oil to OMV’s Schwechat refinery was achieved, the first ULL cargo to Europe.

In Kurdistan, the Khor Mor drilling campaign was finalized successfully. The expansion project advanced at a great pace in 2023 and is nearing completion.

In Tunisia, stable production at the Nawara natural gas field was maintained.

In Yemen, the security situation remains challenging, with drone attacks carried out and further threats made toward crude oil shipping operations. Production was disrupted during the whole of 2023. Subsequently, ongoing projects have been paused and activities in the field reduced to maintenance, inspection, and preservation operations.

North Sea

In Norway, several new production wells came on stream during 2023. On the Gullfaks field, nine wells were delivered during the year and handed over to production.

On the Edvard Grieg field, the second infill campaign was successfully completed during the year, with two new wells and one sidetrack being delivered.

The Solveig Phase 2 project, which is a subsea tie-back to the Edvard Grieg platform, was approved by the Norwegian Ministry of Energy and is currently progressing according to plan.

OMV submitted the Plan for Development and Operation (PDO) for the Berling field development in December 2022. The development concept is a subsea production facility with tie-back to the Åsgard B platform. The PDO was approved by the Norwegian authorities in June 2023. The production of natural gas and condensate is estimated to start up in 2027/28.

The Hywind Tampen offshore wind project was officially commissioned by Crown Prince Haakon of Norway in August 2023, and the wind farm is now delivering renewable wind power to the Gullfaks field.


In Malaysia, the Jerun natural gas project is progressing according to plan with excellent safety performance. Over 11 mn hours have been worked without accidents.

In New Zealand, OMV safely completed three major drilling campaigns to redevelop and optimize the Māui and Pohokura natural gas assets. The operations team focused on asset integrity and maintenance projects and is implementing a number of emissions reduction initiatives across OMV sites. At Pohokura, site preparations commenced for the routine turnaround occurring every four years and the drilling of an infill well in Q3/24.

Key projects

Neptun (Romania, OMV Petrom 50%)

Together with its partner Romgaz, OMV Petrom made significant progress in 2023 with regards to the development of its key growth project, Neptun Deep, first with the final investment decision (FID) and subsequently with obtaining the endorsement of the field development plan (FDP) from the regulator. In the second half of the year, the company also awarded the contracts for the main offshore facilities development and for the drilling part, which, together with some other smaller contracts signed, cover more than 80% of the execution agreements. The next steps are related to completing the award of the main contracts and obtaining all the necessary permits. OMV Petrom plans to start drilling in 2025 and have first gas in 2027. The natural gas from Neptun Deep will make Romania the largest natural gas producer in the European Union and will double the current natural gas production of OMV Petrom.

Other major projects (Romania, OMV Petrom 100%)

The successful testing of two exploration wells in 2023, together with previous years’ successful exploration well, led to the discovery of large resources, estimated at 35  barrels of oil equivalent. The wells are currently in experimental production; based on findings, further development wells are planned to be spud within the coming years.

In addition, projects valued at over EUR 20 mn, namely FRD Bradesti Opportunity Phase 1, Tank Farm Independenta NFA Safeguarding, and Abramut Gas Plant Revamp have been successfully matured, with the first two securing the final investment decision.

Wittau (Austria, OMV 100%)

A successful exploration discovery made by OMV near Vienna in mid–2023 was followed by fast-track maturation and concept selection. The FID is expected to be taken in 2024 after front-end engineering and tendering activities are completed.

Umm Lulu and SARB (United Arab Emirates, OMV 20%)

Development drilling continued during the year, using up to five rigs in total. Nine wells were delivered in SARB and nine wells were drilled in Umm Lulu.

Ghasha concession (United Arab Emirates, OMV 5%)

On the Dalma project, activities on the onshore and offshore Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) packages continued, with first gas targeted for 2025. The FID was attained on the Hail & Ghasha mega project and the major contracts were awarded.

Gullfaks (Norway, OMV 19%)

Norway’s first floating wind farm Hywind Tampen was completed, with the remaining four wind turbines installed and started up. Nine wells were drilled in the Gullfaks annual activity program.

Gudrun (Norway, OMV 24%)

The water injection project Gudrun Phase 2 started on the Gudrun field in the North Sea. The Improved Oil Recovery (IOR) project will increase the oil recovery from the main reservoir on the field and extend the life span of production by two years, changing the drainage strategy from pressure depletion to pressure support by water injection.

Edvard Grieg (Norway, OMV 20%)

The Edvard Grieg Infill Phase 2 project was completed as planned.

The Solveig Phase 2 subsea development is on track, with the major contracts awarded and detailed design engineering completed.

Berling (Hades/Iris) (Norway, OMV 30%)

The OMV operated offshore project achieved the FID and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate approved the PDO. An offshore seismic acquisition campaign was completed, as was umbilical and line pipe manufacturing. Production start-up is expected in 2028.

SK408 (Malaysia, OMV 40%)

In Malaysia, the SapuraOMV operated Jerun natural gas project is progressing well and within budget. The platform jacket was completed and installed, and the six offshore wells were drilled. The 80-kilometer export pipeline was laid. Fabrication of the platform topsides is nearing mechanical completion onshore. The forecast for first gas remains Q3/24.

Exploration and appraisal highlights

In 2023, OMV, OMV Petrom, and SapuraOMV drilled fifteen exploration and appraisal wells in seven different countries. Thirteen of these wells were completed before year-end, while the other two were either drilling or testing in early January 2024.

OMV operated or participated in a number of key wells, the highlight of the year being the operated Wittau Tief natural gas discovery in the Vienna Basin, Austria. This well was successfully tested and development plans are greatly advanced. The well was completed as a future producer and the next well on the structure is scheduled for the second half of 2024. The second in a sequence of deep natural gas exploration wells in Austria was spud in the Strasshof area. Expectations are that this well will reach final target depth in Q1/24.

Two non-operated natural gas discoveries were made onshore Tunisia, which, combined with the 2022 Anbar natural gas discovery, will likely form a new concession that will tie into the OMV operated Nawara facility.

In Norway, two operated wells were drilled, both yielding uncommercial discoveries. A third infrastructure led well (Solan/Ludvig) was successfully drilled at year-end and will be completed as a producer and tied into the Gullfaks facility.

In the UAE, OMV participated in non-operated appraisal activity in the Ghasha and SARB concessions.

In New Zealand, a natural gas appraisal well on Māui East was drilled and completed as a future producer.

In Romania, OMV Petrom drilled three wells, two operated and one non-operated. One resulted in a natural gas discovery that has been completed and in production since May. The other two were dry and have been plugged and abandoned.

In Mexico, SapuraOMV participated in two non-operated exploration wells on Block 30. One was announced as a material oil discovery and plans are underway to drill an appraisal well in the second half of 2024. The second well was unable to reach the primary target due to operational issues and was plugged and abandoned.

Earlier in 2023, OMV Norge was awarded new licenses in core areas in Norway and once again applied during the APA round, with a focus on near-infrastructure natural gas opportunities.

In Bulgaria, OMV Petrom assumed operatorship of the Han Aspurah license, immediately adjacent to the recent giant natural gas discoveries in offshore Türkiye.

Exploration and appraisal expenditure increased in 2023 to EUR 248 mn (2022: EUR 202 mn), largely to accelerate the drilling of deep natural gas opportunities in Austria.

Exploration & Production, part of Energy business segment
Thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day
Capital Expenditure
Exploration & Production, part of Energy business segment
United Arab Emirates
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies are known as OPEC+