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Risk Management

As an international oil, gas, and chemicals company with operations extending from hydrocarbon exploration and production through to the trading and marketing of mineral oil products, chemical products, and natural gas, OMV is exposed to a variety of risks – including market and financial risks, operational risks, and strategic risks. The Group’s risk management processes focus on the identification, assessment, and evaluation of such risks and their impact on the Group’s financial stability and profitability. The objective of these activities is to actively manage risks in the context of the Group’s risk appetite and defined risk tolerance levels in order to achieve OMV’s long-term strategic goals.

Risk management governance

OMV recognizes the dynamic and evolving nature of its business landscape. Effective risk governance is crucial for successfully navigating through uncertainties inherent to the nature of OMV’s operations.

As an integral part of the Supervisory Board, the Audit Committee diligently oversees the implementation and efficacy of our risk management processes. By leveraging the expertise within the Audit Committee and remaining adaptive through ongoing education, the Supervisory Board reinforces its commitment to robust risk governance.

The Executive Board takes a proactive stance in overseeing and enhancing OMV’s risk management processes as well as ensuring a strong risk culture across the OMV Group. A cross-functional committee chaired by the OMV Group CFO with senior management members of the OMV Group – the Risk Committee – ensures that the risk management process effectively captures and manages material risks across the OMV Group. OMV has an effective independent Corporate Risk Management function within the CFO area that reports directly to the Executive Board and is independent from the business lines.

It is OMV’s view that the Group’s overall risk is significantly lower than the sum of the individual risks due to its integrated nature and the fact that various risks partially offset each other. The balancing effects of industry risks, however, can often lag or weaken over time. OMV’s risk management activities therefore focus on the net risk exposure of the Group’s existing and future portfolio. The interdependencies and correlations between different risks are also reflected in the Company’s consolidated risk profile. Risk management and insurance activities are centrally coordinated at the corporate level by the Treasury and Risk & Insurance Management departments. These departments ensure that well-defined and consistent risk management processes, tools, and techniques are applied across the entire organization. Risk ownership is assigned to the managers who are best suited to overseeing and managing the respective risk.

The overall objective of the risk policy is to safeguard the cash flows required by the Group and to maintain a strong investment-grade credit rating in line with the Group’s risk appetite.

Financial and non-financial risks are regularly identified, assessed, and reported through the Group’s Enterprise-Wide Risk Management (EWRM) process.

The main purpose of the OMV Group’s EWRM process is to deliver value through risk-based management and decision-making, which is ensured by applying a “three lines of defense” model (1. business management, 2. risk management and oversight functions, 3. internal audit). The assessment of financial, operational, and strategic risks helps the Group leverage business opportunities in a systematic manner. This systematic approach ensures that OMV’s value grows sustainably. Since 2003, the EWRM system has helped enhance risk awareness and improve risk management skills across the entire organization, including at subsidiaries in more than 20 countries. The OMV Group is constantly enhancing the EWRM process based on internal and external requirements, for instance developing ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) reporting standards and frameworks.

OMV’s EWRM process has been set up in accordance with the ISO 31000 standard and is facilitated by a Group-wide IT system supporting the established individual process steps: risk identification, risk analysis, risk evaluation, risk treatment, reporting, and risk review through continuous monitoring of changes to the risk profile. The overall risk resulting from the bottom-up risk management process is computed using Monte Carlo simulations and compared against planning data. This is further combined with a top-down approach from the senior management view to capture risks associated with the Group’s strategy. The process also includes companies that are not fully consolidated. The EWRM process uses common risk terminology and language across the OMV Group to facilitate effective risk communication, whereby ESG risks play a key role in the OMV risk taxonomy. Twice a year, the results of this process are consolidated and presented to the Executive Board and the Audit Committee of the Supervisory Board. In compliance with the Austrian Code of Corporate Governance, the effectiveness of the EWRM system is evaluated by an external auditor on an annual basis. The key financial and non-financial risks identified with respect to OMV’s mid-term planning are:

  • Financial risks, including market price risks and foreign exchange risks
  • Operational risks, including all risks related to physical assets, production risks, project risks, personnel risks, IT risks, , and regulatory/compliance risks
  • Strategic risks arising, for example, from climate change, changes in technology, risks to reputation, or political uncertainties, including sanctions

Financial risk management

Market price and financial risks arise from volatility in the prices of commodities, including the market price risks from European Emission Allowances, foreign exchange (FX) rates, and interest rates. Also of importance are credit risks, which arise from the inability of a counterparty to meet a payment or delivery commitment. As an oil, gas, and chemicals company, OMV has a significant exposure to oil, natural gas, and chemicals prices. Substantial FX exposure includes the USD, RON, NOK, NZD, and SEK. The Group has an economic net USD long position, mainly resulting from oil production sales. The comparatively less significant exposure in RON, NOK, NZD, and SEK originates from expenses in local currencies in the respective countries.

Management of commodity price risk, FX risk, European Emission Allowances

The analysis and management of financial risks arising from foreign currencies, interest rates, commodity prices, European Emission Allowances, counterparties, liquidity, and insurable risks are consolidated at the corporate level. Market price risk is monitored and analyzed centrally in respect of its potential cash flow impact using a specific risk analysis model that considers portfolio effects. The impact of financial risks (e.g., commodity prices, currencies) on the OMV Group’s cash flow and liquidity is reviewed regularly by the Risk Committee, which is chaired by the CFO and comprises the senior management of the business segments and corporate functions.

In the context of commodity price risk and FX risk, the OMV Executive Board decides on hedging strategies to mitigate such risks whenever deemed necessary. OMV uses financial instruments for hedging purposes to protect the Group’s cash flow, for example from the potential negative impact of falling oil and natural gas prices in the Energy division. In the Fuels & Feedstock and Chemicals & Materials businesses, OMV is especially exposed to volatile refining and chemicals margins, natural gas prices, and CO2 emissions certificates, as well as inventory risks. Corresponding optimization and hedging activities are undertaken in order to mitigate those risks. They include margin hedges as well as stock hedges. An optimization, trading, and hedging risk control governance system defines clear mandates including risk thresholds for such activities.

Management of interest rate risk

To balance the Group’s interest rate portfolio, loans can be converted from fixed to floating rates and vice versa according to predefined rules. OMV regularly analyzes the impact of interest rate changes on interest income and expenses from floating rate deposits and borrowings.

Management of credit risk

Significant counterparty credit risks are assessed, monitored, and controlled at the Group and segment level using predetermined credit limits for all counterparties, banks, and security providers. The procedures are governed by guidelines at OMV Group level. In light of a challenging geopolitical and economic environment with high inflation, volatile commodity prices, rising interest rates, and distorted supply chains, special attention is paid to early warning signals like changes in payment behavior. Given the events in the banking sector in the first quarter of 2023, OMV has implemented even tighter monitoring of its banking counterparties and of respective exposures in addition to its standard credit risk management processes.

Operational risks

The nature of OMV’s business operations exposes the Group to various health, safety, security, and environmental (HSSE) risks. Such risks include the potential impact of natural disasters, as well as process safety and personal security events. Other operational risks comprise risks related to the delivery of capital projects or legal/regulatory non-compliance. All operational risks are identified, analyzed, monitored, and mitigated in accordance with the Group’s defined risk management process. Control and mitigation of assessed risks take place at all organizational levels using clearly defined risk policies and responsibilities. The key Group risks are governed centrally to ensure the Group’s ability to meet planning objectives through corporate directives, including those relating to health, safety, security, environment, legal matters, compliance, human resources, and sustainability.

Project risks

In implementing its Strategy 2030, OMV will invest in both organic and inorganic growth projects following a mature project risk management process, identifying, analyzing, and monitoring project risks on a regular basis. OMV has vast experience in managing major capital projects and mitigating project risks.

OMV may experience operational, political, technological, or other risks beyond its control, both its own and belonging to its contractual partners, which may delay or hinder the progress of its projects.

By way of example, the execution of major onshore and offshore projects in Romania, Norway, and the may be affected by changes to the respective regulatory or fiscal frameworks, by the unavailability of contractors, or the lack of qualified staff. Project costs may be negatively impacted by price inflation, labor shortages, or the disruption or reorganization of supply chains. Projects, in particular in recycling and sustainable fuels and feedstocks, may be affected by insufficient availability of required feedstock supply, by the inability to commercially scale up new technologies, or by the lack of regulatory clarity. In new business areas in particular, OMV may more often invest through partnerships and joint ventures, which may expose the Company to increased governance and credit risks and may negatively impact project execution. The effect of any of these risks may have a material adverse impact on OMV’s business, results of operations, and financial condition.

ESG risk

OMV places special emphasis on five Sustainability focus areas: Climate Change; Natural Resources Management; People; Ethical Business Practices; and Health, Safety, and Security.

OMV Executive Board members regularly (at least quarterly) discuss current and upcoming environmental, climate, and energy-related policies and regulations, related developments in the fuels, chemicals, and natural gas markets, the financial implications of emission certificate trading schemes, the status of innovation project implementation, and progress on achieving sustainability-related targets. OMV focuses on assessing the potential vulnerabilities of the Company to climate change (e.g., water deficiency, droughts, floods, landslides), the impact of the Company on the environment, and the mitigation actions that will ensure a successful transition to a low-carbon environment (e.g., carbon emission reductions, compliance with new regulatory requirements). The short- and mid-term physical vulnerabilities related to climate change are identified and reported in the EWRM process. Additionally, OMV has performed a robust climate and vulnerability assessment for most of its main assets to identify its resilience to physical risks related to climate change using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios corresponding to the time horizon suggested by the EU taxonomy.

OMV’s operations impact our employees and the communities where we operate. As a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, OMV follows the Human Rights Due Diligence Process, including the assessment of the human rights risk associated with our current and future business activities, and taking risk management actions. This ongoing process makes use of external resources and expertise, and includes external stakeholders, in particular impacted groups.

IT risks

As OMV’s activities rely on information technology systems, the Group may experience disruption due to major cyber events. Security controls are therefore implemented across the Group to protect information and IT assets that store and process information. IT-related risks are assessed, monitored regularly, and managed actively with dedicated information and security programs across the organization. OT (Operational Technology) related risks are reflected in the assessment of process safety risks. Additionally, OMV recognizes the emergence of AI-related risks and is actively integrating measures within existing security controls to address potential disruptions and vulnerabilities associated with artificial intelligence.

Strategic risks

In order to identify strategic risks that might have potentially long-term effects on the Company’s objectives, OMV continuously monitors its internal and external environment.

Geopolitical and regulatory risks

OMV thoroughly monitors geopolitical developments, including the ongoing Russian war on Ukraine and any additional sanctions and countersanctions resulting from it, as well as recent attacks on Israel that have raised concerns about regional stability and their potential impact on OMV’s business activities. Nevertheless, it is important to note that, as it currently stands, OMV’s operations in the MENA region remain unaffected by these developments.

The Company regularly reviews the impact of potential further escalations on its business activities. Continued and/or intensified disruptions in Russian commodity flows to Europe, for example, could result in further increases in European energy prices. Sanctions on Russia and countersanctions issued by Russia could lead to further disruptions in global supply chains and shortages of products related to energy, raw materials, agriculture, and metals, and consequently lead to further increases in operational costs.

In light of potential further, or even full, natural gas supply disruptions from Russia, e.g., due to discontinuation of the gas transit agreement between Ukraine and Russia, OMV has diversified both gas supply sources and gas supply routes to ensure secure energy supply to its customers. Supported by warmer than average weather in Europe, increased renewable power generation, and elevated gas price levels, households and industry have reduced gas consumption in 2023 leading to lower gas demand, and more gas in storage in Central Europe than expected. In July 2023, OMV managed to secure around 40  of additional transport capacities to Austria at the transfer points Oberkappel (pipeline from Germany) and Arnoldstein (pipeline from Italy) for both the current gas year and for the period from October 1, 2023 to September 30, 2026. For the period from October 1, 2026 to September 30, 2028, OMV booked around 20 TWh of transport capacities at the aforementioned transfer points. OMV continues to closely monitor developments and regularly evaluates the potential impact on the Group’s cash flow and liquidity position.

High volatility in natural gas prices can potentially lead to peak liquidity demands to satisfy margin calls for exchange trading activities at short notice. OMV has unused committed and uncommitted credit facilities to meet such short-term requirements if needed. OMV is responding to the situation with targeted measures to safeguard the Company’s economic stability as well as the secure supply of energy.

As a direct consequence of the energy crisis in Europe, regulatory measures like regulated/capped prices for gas and power, subsidy schemes, and over-taxation or the EU solidarity contribution have been implemented in some of the countries OMV is active in. If energy prices in Europe remain at high levels, there is a risk that further regulatory and fiscal interventions may impact OMV financials.

In addition to the above-mentioned geopolitical tensions, OMV’s operations are exposed to further geopolitical risks such as the expropriation and nationalization of property, restrictions on foreign ownership, civil strife and acts of war or terrorism, and political uncertainties, for example in Libya, Yemen, or Tunisia, as well as other countries where OMV operates and has financial investments. However, OMV has extensive experience in dealing with the political environment in emerging economies. Also, possible regulatory changes may lead to disruptions or limitations in production or an increased tax burden. OMV continuously observes political and regulatory developments in all markets that affect OMV’s operations. Country-specific risks are assessed before entering new countries.

Macroeconomic risks

Geoeconomic fragmentation, trade restrictions, and disruptions to global supply chains could lead to further cost increases for OMV. Coupled with rising interest rates, this situation has the potential to also negatively impact economic growth, which in turn could affect demand for OMV’s products.

Climate change-related risks

OMV consistently evaluates the Group’s exposure to risks related to climate change, in addition to the market price risk from European Emission Allowances. Such risks comprise the potential impact of acute or chronic events like more frequent extreme weather events, systemic changes to our business model due to a changing legal framework, or substitution of OMV’s products due to changing consumer behavior. OMV recognizes climate change as a key global challenge, and therefore integrates the related risks and opportunities into the development of the Company’s business strategy. Measures implemented to manage or mitigate such risks are set out in the relevant sections of this report, particularly in Sustainability and Strategy.

Business transformation risks

OMV’s transformation into a leading provider of sustainable fuels, chemicals, and materials, as well as sustainable energy solutions, is influenced by a variety of uncertainties. Such risks include the availability of skilled employees, technology and scale-up risks, availability of sustainable feedstock in sufficient quality and quantity, and governance risks related to joint ventures and partnerships.

Personnel risks

Through systematic employee succession and development planning, OMV’s People & Culture department aims to develop and attract suitable managerial employees to meet future growth requirements and mitigate personnel risks.

For further details on risk management and the use of financial instruments, please refer to Note 30 of the Consolidated Financial Statements.

For further details on climate change-related risks and their management, see the OMV Sustainability Report, as well as Note 2 of the Consolidated Financial Statements.

For further details on health, safety, security, and environmental risks, please refer to the chapter Health, Safety, Security, and Environment in the Directors’ Report.

Health, Safety, Security, and Environment
United Arab Emirates
Terawatt hour