Austria’s OMV in Talks to Develop Oilfield

Austria’s OMV in Talks to Develop OilfieldAustria’s OMV in Talks to Develop Oilfield

Austrian oil and gas company OMV is willing to reestablish its status in Iran’s energy sector, with the development of Cheshmeh Khosh Oilfield in western Iran a starting point to rekindle cooperation with the Persian Gulf country in the post-sanctions era.

“OMV is planning to expand operations of its Tehran office. We have started negotiations with the National Iranian Oil Company to develop Khosh Cheshmeh Oilfield,” Stefan Hanke, an official at the OMV, was quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency on Saturday.

Extraction from a well at Cheshmeh Khosh, 80 kilometers east of Dehloran in Ilam Province, is now underway, according to oil officials, but OMV’s contribution to the project can help accelerate extraction from the oilfield.

OMV opened office in the Iranian capital in 2001 after signing a deal to conduct studies on the Mehr oil exploration block in Khuzestan Province, the official said, highlighting the deal as a successful bilateral cooperation between 2002 and 2007.

“We were forced to leave (Iran) in 2008 due to tough western sanctions against the Islamic Republic,” he said, stressing that OMV never completely shut its office in the Persian Gulf country and maintained research collaborations with NIOC.

Iran and six world powers reached a historic deal on July 14 in Vienna, which would limit the Persian Gulf country’s nuclear program in return for removing sanctions on its energy and financial industries.

During three days of extensive talks between Iranian and Austrian officials in the capital in September, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh met with Rainer Seele, CEO of OMV, on utilizing Austrian technology to boost extraction from Iran’s rich oil and gas fields.

OMV, which is 31.5% state-owned, is one of Austria’s largest listed industrial companies with a workforce of around 25,500 employees. It operates a major domestic gas pipeline network as well as gas storage facilities in Austria and Germany.