Cristina-Varchere-CEO-OMV-PETROM

OMV Petrom could be Neptun Deep project operator

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OMV Petrom- the largest energy company in South-Eastern Europe and the biggest issuer on the Bucharest capital market by value- and Romgaz, the largest producer and main supplier of natural gas in Romania, are cooperating to unlock the natural gas resources in the Black Sea, according to a joint statement.

In case of acceptance of Romgaz’s offer by ExxonMobil, the American oil and gas multinational, OMV Petrom will take over the operational management of the Neptun Deep offshore gas project. So far, Texas-headquarted ExxonMobil has been managing the project, where it is an equal partner (50-50) with OMV Petrom while state-owned Romgaz has submitted the only bid for US company’s stake in the Neptun Block in the deepwater sector of the Black Sea.

The block covers an area of approximately 7,500 square kilometers in water depths ranging from 100-1,700 meters and over $1.5 billion were invested between 2008 and 2016 in exploration and appraisal activities.

Speaking on the development, Christina Verchere, OMV Petrom CEO, stated: “The Black Sea is a unique opportunity for Romania and we are committed to contributing to its materialization. OMV Petrom has over 40 years of offshore experience as operator in the Black Sea and also benefits from OMV Group’s international deepwater capabilities.”

Varchere was appointed CEO and President of the Executive Board of OMV Petrom in May 2018. She  holds a Master degree in Economics Science from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. She started her career in 1993 and has spent over 20 years with an oil and gas supermajor, where she held numerous leadership positions in the UK, the US, Canada and Indonesia.

For his part, Aristotel Jude, general manager of Romgaz, said: “We are ready to act as equal partners to make this strategic project happen. If our offer is accepted, OMV Petrom will become the project operator.”

OMV Petrom

OMV Petrom is the largest integrated energy company in South-Eastern Europe, with an annual  hydrocarbon production of 53 million boe in 2020. The company has a refining capacity of 4.5 million tons annually and operates an 860 MW high efficiency power plant. OMV Petrom is present on the oil products retail market in Romania and neighboring countries through 793 filling stations, at the end of 2020, under two brands – OMV and Petrom.

OMV Aktiengesellschaft, one of the largest listed industrial companies in Austria, holds a 51% stake in OMV Petrom. The Romanian State, through the Ministry of Energy, holds 20.6% of OMV Petrom shares, Fondul Proprietatea holds 7%, and 21.4% is the free float on the Bucharest Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange.

OMV Petrom is the largest contributor to the Romanian state budget, with contributions of approximately 32 billion euro in taxes and dividends paid between 2005 and 2020.

Since 2007, the company has included corporate responsibility principles into its business strategy. Between 2007 and 2020, the company has allocated approximately 72 million euro to develop communities in Romania, focusing on environmental protection, education, health and local development.

OMV Petrom ended the first quarter of 2021 with sales of RON4.8 billion, down 20% y-o-y, negatively impacted by lower sales volumes of natural gas, petroleum products and electricity, as well as lower prices for natural gas, partially offset by higher prices for electricity. Downstream Oil represented 73% of total sales, while Downstream Gas accounted for 26% and Upstream for 2%, according to the company’s financial report. Net profit stood at RON573 million, down 12% y-o-y.

The company received shareholder approval Tuesday (April 27) to pay dividends amounting to RON1.76 billion from its profit and reserves for the financial year 2020. Also, the Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders approved the budget for 2021, which provides for investments in amount of 3.3 billion lei. The company will provide a strategy update in the second half of this year in a move towards green energy.  Its Strategy Update 2021+ builds on the strong foundation of the 2012 – 2016 performance to deliver sustainable value creation and attractive shareholder returns.