OMV Plans to Expand E&P Activities in Iran

Austrian President Thomas Klestil's state visit to Iran, on which he was accompanied by Helmut Langanger, a member of the executive board of OMV responsible for Exploration and Production, and Otto Musilek, CEO of OMV Erdgas GmbH, led to the signing of a memorandum of understanding with NIGEC (National Iranian Gas Export Company) on January 27, 2004. In this understanding, NIGEC, OMV and EconGas agree that they will explore ways to strengthen their co-operation in E&P projects and the Iranian natural gas export industry's involvement of the planned "Nabucco" pipeline from Turkey to Austria.

The goal of the memorandum of understanding is to assess participation by NIGEC in the "Nabucco" project. NIOC (National Iranian Oil Company) plans to export the natural gas produced in Iran to Western and Central Europe through its subsidiary NIGEC. The Nabucco Pipeline from Turkey to Austria, which is being jointly planned by OMV Erdgas, a wholly owned subsidiary of OMV Aktiengesellschaft, and a consortium of international partners, offers a good option for transmitting the gas. OMV Erdgas has declared that it is willing to support NIGEC in its efforts to participate in the Nabucco project. In addition, EconGas, 50% of which is held by OMV Erdgas, is interested in buying Iranian gas over the long term.

Furthermore, OMV Aktiengesellschaft plans to expand its commitment to Iranian oil and natural gas exploration. In this context, the company is interested in establishing long-term business relationships with the NIOC and in expanding its upstream activities in attractive projects. OMV is engaged in Iran through its wholly owned subsidiary OMV Iran Exploration GmbH.

In a further outcome of Klestil's state visit, OMV contributed USD 40,000 to the rebuilding of the "Austria School" in the city of Bam, 80% of which was destroyed by the recent earthquake.