Austria

Austria’s largest company, OMV AG, has been the Russian gas industry’s main business partner for almost half a century. Until 1994, this company was 100% state-owned. OMV’s current shareholders are as follows: the Austrian government (via the Austrian Industrial Holding) with a 31.5% stake, the International Petroleum Investment Company of Abu Dhabi with 20.0%, and 48.5% in free float. The company is headquartered in Vienna.

In April 2004, OMV Gas GmbH (a 100% subsidiary of OMV AG) became the legal successor to 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 USSR.

Due to Austrian gas market deregulation and the restructuring of OMV AG natural gas trade operations, the parties concluded an agreement that EconGas would replace OMV Gas International as the purchaser of Russian gas.

On September 28, 2006, Gazprom Export cancelled its existing contracts with OMV AG and another local company GWH (renamed Gazprom Austria (GPA) from February 27, 2013). These contracts were replaced with new ones signed by Gazprom Export with EconGas, GPA, and Centrex for Russian natural gas deliveries to Austria (from November 1, 2006 to December 31, 2027). GPA and Centrex also gained the right to direct gas sales in the Austrian market: specifically, in the provinces of Carinthia, Styria, and Salzburg (with the two companies signing corresponding contracts with end consumers).

Together with the Austrian company RAG and Germany’s WINGAS, Gazprom Export is involved in the joint use of the Haidach underground gas storage (UGS) in Austria.

Austria 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, and Slovenia. The following pipelines are this trunkline system’s main components: TAG (Trans Austria Gas pipeline for transit to Italy), SOL (Süd-Ost-Leitung pipeline to Slovenia), WAG (West-Austria-Gasleitung to Germany and France), HAG (Hungary-Austria Gas pipeline), and Penta West (linking the Oberkappel and Burghausen points on the Austrian- German border).

As well as its trunklines, Austria also has a distribution network totalling around 25,000 kilometers.

In June 2015, Gazprom, E.ON, Shell, and OMV signed the Memorandum of Intent providing for the joint construction of two strings of Nord Stream 2. On September 4, 2015, Gazprom, BASF/Wintershall, ENGIE, E.ON, OMV, and Shell signed the Shareholders Agreement to build the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline system.

On December 14, 2016, Gazprom and OMV signed the Basic Agreement regarding the asset swap. According to the Agreement, Gazprom will receive a 38.5 per cent stake in OMV Norge AS, a company focused on geological exploration and production in Norway. In exchange, OMV will obtain a 24.98 per cent stake in the project for developing Blocks 4 and 5 of the Achimov formations in the Urengoy oil, gas and condensate field.

From the start of supplies to January 1, 2016, Austria received over 190 bcm of Russian natural gas, including 4.40 bcm in 2015.

Gazprom’s gas supplies to Austria grew by 37.9 per cent in 2016 compared to 2015. In the first quarter of 2017, Russian gas exports to Austria added 67.9 per cent against the same period of 2016.

 

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OMV Expects to Increase Gas Purchases from Gazprom – 03.05.2017

Growth in Europe’s demand for Russian gas confirms importance of Nord Stream 2 – 20.04.2017

Nord Stream 2 to play crucial role in EU’s energy security – 20.02.2017

Gazprom and OMV sign binding Basic Agreement on asset swap – 14.12.2016

Austria’s demand for Russian gas continues soaring – 16.11.2016

Gas exports to Austria up 23.8 per cent for year-to-date – 11.10.2016

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Nord Stream 2 to strengthen Baumgarten’s position as key gas distribution center in Europe – 18.06.2016

Gazprom and OMV sign 2016–2020 Program for scientific & technical cooperation and partnership – 16.06.2016

Gazprom and OMV sign documents to further develop strategic cooperation – 01.04.2016

OMV punctuates importance of Nord Stream II pipeline project – 10.11.2015

Gazprom, BASF, E.ON, ENGIE, OMV and Shell sign Shareholders Agreement on Nord Stream 2 project – 04.09.2015