June of 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the first contract to supply natural gas from Russia to Austria. The oil and gas group OMV was the first company in Western Europe that signed the long-term contract to purchase the ‘blue fuel’ from USSR. On 1 June1968, the contract was signed, and already on 10 September, 1968, first gas started to flow to Austria.

The Republic of Austria became the first country in Western Europe to sign a long-term gas supply contract with the USSR in 1968. Over the past years, the volume of gas exports from Russia to Austria has grown more than tenfold, reaching a record value of 16.28 bcm in 2019. As of January 1, 2021, Austria has received around 252 bcm of Russian natural gas in total since the beginning of supplies. In 2020, it received 13.22 bcm.

For more than 50 years, Austria’s largest company, OMV AGOMV AG is the largest energy concern in Central Europe. Until 1994, the state owned 100% of the company’s shares. Its headquarters is located in Vienna. Today OMV’s shareholders are the Austrian government (via the Austrian Industrial Holding) with 31.5% stake, Mubadala Investment Company with 24.9%, and 43% shares are in free float. By the end of 2019, the volume of sales of OMV amounted to 23 billion euros, the number of employees reached 20 thousand. The company conducts business in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the North Sea, Russia, and the Asia-Pacific Region. OMV is engaged in the production of hydrocarbons, as well as the development of low-carbon energy solutions. Gazprom Group cooperates with OMV in the field of gas production, transportation and supply., has been Gazprom Export’s main business partner in the national market. Currently the purchaser of Russian gas is OMV Gas Marketing and Trading GmbH, a 100% subsidiary of OMV AG. 

In June 2018, during the celebration of 50 years anniversary of Russian gas supplies to Austria, Gazprom and OMV Gas Marketing & Trading GmbH extended the long-term contract for gas supplies to Austria through December 31, 2040. Later that year, the parties signed a supplement to this contract increasing the supply volume to Austria by 1 bcm per year for the entire contract term.

Austria also plays an important role in natural gas transportation, providing transit for around 30 bcm of Gazprom Group’s gas each year to Italy, France, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia. Austrian underground storage facility Haidach also plays an important role to ensure reliable gas supplies in the region. Gazprom Export, the German WINGAS and the Austrian RAG jointly operate this facility.