For over 40 years, the largest company in Austria – OMV AG, was the Russian gas industry’s main business partner. Until 1994, the government owned 100% of this company’s shares. The state currently remains its largest shareholder (via the Austrian Industrial Holding) owning 31.5% stake in OMV.
In April 2004, OMV Gas GmbH (a 100% subsidiary of OMV AG) became the legal successor on contracts signed between Gazprom Export and OMV AG.
In 1968, OMV became the first Western company to sign a long-term natural gas-purchasing contract with the former Soviet Union. Until September 2006, Russian gas deliveries to Austria were carried out under four long-term contracts that stretched till 2012. By January 1, 2012, Austria has received a total of around 175 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas — including 5.43 billion cubic meters received in 2011.
Gazprom Export, the Austrian company RAG and Germany’s WINGAS are involved in the joint exploitation of the Haidach underground gas storage facility (UGSF) in Austria.
The ongoing liberalization of the Austrian gas market and the restructuring of OMV AG activities in its natural gas trade resulted in the parties concluding an agreement stating that instead of the OMV Gas International company, the future Russian gas purchases would be made through EconGas.
Gazprom Export annulled its existing contracts with OMV AG and GWH on 28 September 2006. These were replaced with new contracts, which Gazprom Export signed with EconGas, GWH and Centrex for Russian natural gas deliveries to Austria (from November 1, 2006 to December 31, 2027). In addition, GWH and Centrex earned the right to make their own direct gas sales on the Austrian market, particularly in the provinces of Carinthia, Styria and Salzburg (with the two companies signing corresponding contracts with the final consumers). Thus, Gazprom Export was able to achieve its strategic goal of penetrating the Austrian end-user market.
In April 2010, Gazprom and OMV signed a Framework Agreement on cooperation on the South Stream project in Austria. Additional natural gas deliveries by OMV company totaling 2 billion cubic meters in the long term are envisaged as part of the implementation of the South Stream project in the territory of Austria.
European price correction agreements signed – 17.01.2012