OMV Makes Huge Gas Find in Vienna Basin

OMV has made the biggest natural gas find in the Vienna Basin for more than 20 years. The potential reserves found are estimated to be up to 4 bcm (25 mn boe). This corresponds to three times OMV's annual gas production in Austria or about half of the annual Austrian natural gas consumption. The discovery was made during the technically sophisticated drilling of the Strasshof T4 exploration well in two deep layers at a depth of approximately 3,200 and 4,300 meters. In the near future geological and technical studies, as well as production tests will be carried out. Further appraisal wells are scheduled in 2006. Production can be expected to begin in three years. It is assumed that the daily production will be between 500,000 cbm and 1,000,000 cbm (3,000-6,000 boe/d). Based on current assumptions, production is expected over 20 years. In 2004 OMV's total oil and gas production in Austria was around 14 mn boe.

Helmut Langanger, OMV Executive Board Member responsible for Exploration and Production stated: "I am delighted to announce this major find in Austria. Thanks to our highly developed 3D seismics, and the use of modern deep drilling technology, the OMV Group has a track-record of great success in developing new oil and gas reserves in mature oil and gas areas throughout our international E&P regions.

The Strasshof T4 exploration well was drilled by OMV Austria Exploration & Production GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of OMV Aktiengesellschaft. Located approximately 20 km northeast of Vienna, the well is the biggest gas find since the discovery of the Höflein Field in 1982. It lies in the vicinity of the Matzen Field, the biggest contiguous oil field in Central Europe. Following intensive preparations – the first analyses of the seismic measurements were carried out in 2003 – the well was drilled to a depth of 4,516 meters. The gas deposits were detected in two deep layers of around 3,200 and 4,300 meters. Present estimates indicate an average value of up to 4 bcm or 25 mn boe. This corresponds to three times OMV's annual gas production in Austria or about half of the annual Austrian natural gas consumption of 8.6 bcm.

The total cost of drilling the exploration well was around EUR 7 mn. In order to develop the find, considerable further investment will be necessary for additional wells, pipelines and above-ground production facilities. The gas will be fed into the Austrian supply network.

State-of-the-art technology has led to the highest production level in Austria since 1980

In 2003 and 2004 OMV drilled 23 wells in Austria. This represented a total drilling performance of 46,000 meters. During these two years, more than EUR 120 mn was invested in the search for and extraction of oil and gas in Austria. Thanks to the use of the most modern technology, it was possible to achieve the highest level of production in Austria since 1980 and to offset the natural decline in production in old oil and gas fields. Of the13 wells drilled in 2004, eight were commercially viable. This very high success rate compared to international figures demonstrates OMV's technical expertise as an operator of old and mature oil and gas fields.

Stable oil and gas production in Austria at a high level

In 2004 OMV had total oil and gas reserves in Austria of 149 million boe, of which the gas reserves account for 89 million boe (corresponding to 14.2 bcm) and the proved crude oil reserves for 60 mn bbl (8.5 mn t). OMV's goal is to maintain its annual Austrian oil and gas production of 14 million boe at this high level in the coming years. Therefore OMV will continue its intensive exploration activities to find new deposits and its use of the very best technologies to ensure that. OMV's oil and gas production in Austria will remain core to the company's overall production.