‘OMV ready to resume Iran oilfield work’

Austrian energy company OMV has announced its readiness to resume developing the Cheshmeh Khosh oilfield in western Iran, a report says. 

OMV withdrew from the field in the Ilam province along with Spain’s CEPSA in 2008 when Iran was hit with the first wave of US-led sanctions. The company also left the Mehr block in western Iran, where it had struck oil.

In February, Chief Executive Rainer Seele said OMV was evaluating the opportunities in at least two separate oilfield development projects in Iran without naming them.

“OMV has announced readiness for development of the Cheshmeh Khosh oilfield,” the Fars news agency said on Monday.

Seele last year accompanied other European delegates for a trade visit to Tehran to attend an industry conference.

“You can find very low-cost fields here, and therefore I think it’s very competitive production that’s coming on stream here in Iran,” Seele told the event.

OMV is pushing to boost its upstream portfolio, with Seele saying the company would use at least 90% of its investments for exploration and production through 2020.

OMV has said its future lies in Iran and Russia as the rout in crude markets makes the company’s high-cost North Sea oilfields less profitable.

“With our new strategy, we will focus on cash and costs, pursue a sustainable position in upstream focusing on value over volume growth,” Seele has said. “The main development regions are Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Iran.”

OMV Chief Executive Rainer Seele (L) meets Iranian Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zangeneh in Tehran in October 2015. ©Shana

Apart from Mehr and Cheshmeh Khosh projects, OMV had signed initial contracts for participation in Iran’s LNG plans, including annual sales of 2.2 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas, and developing phase 12 of Iran’s giant South Pars gas field, Fars said.

OMV is jostling with many other international companies for business with Iran after the lifting of sanctions and the Austrian firm has sought to mollify Iran for a return to the country.

“OMV has never closed the office in Tehran, even in difficult times,” Robert Lechner, a spokesman for OMV, has been cited as saying.

The company and other major businesses were apparently looking to a visit to Vienna last week by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, which was cancelled due to “security reasons.”

Iran said the decision was reached mutually to allow for better preparation.

Rouhani had been scheduled to meet Austrian President Heinz Fischer and other Austrian leaders on Wednesday and Thursday in only his second visit as president to Europe, after he traveled to Rome and Paris in January.

By Press TV