OMV Increases Stake in Gas Field Offshore Australia

OMV has reached an agreement to increase its share in the Sole gas field in the offshore Victoria Basin/Australia, which it operates through its wholly owned subsidiary Basin Oil Pty. Ltd. Basin Oil has agreed to obtain from Trinity Gas Resources Pty Ltd (TGR) an additional 5% interest in the Sole gas field, raising its share to 40%.

Basin Oil will earn its 5% additional equity in the Sole gas field by meeting certain development costs on behalf of TGR, if and when the Sole joint venture participants proceed to develop this gas resource. As a result of a parallel arrangement between TGR and Santos Limited, TGR's equity in both Sole and Patricia Baleen will decrease to 10% and Santos will increase its interests in both fields to 50%. The joint venture participants will then hold the same interests in both Patricia Baleen and Sole, aligning their interests for future development and ongoing operations.

The Sole gas field is located in block VIC/RL3, 45 kilometers off the Victorian coast, the Patricia Baleen gas field is located in block VIC/L21, 20 kilometers off the Victorian coast in the Gippsland Basin.

OMV has been active in New Zealand/Australia since 1999. The acquisition of the Australian exploration and production company Cultus by OMV in September 1999 was the Group's first successful purchase in Australia and provided it with a solid foundation for the continued expansion of its E&P business in Australasia. Currently it has shares in 17 exploration blocks (on/offshore) in Australia and New Zealand and is in charge of operations in 10 blocks. OMV is currently producing an average of 15,000 boe/d from four fields in this region: Cooper Basin, Jabiru Challis, Patricia Baleen and Maui.