OMV Acquires Exploration Rights in Bavaria
OMV has acquired a 45% share in Forest Oil Germany GmbH's exploration rights in Bavaria. The licensed areas, Southern Bavaria and Oberallgäu in the foothills of the Alps, cover a total area of 3,695 square kilometers. Over the next three years, OMV will lead exploration in the region for natural gas deposits, whose presence has been indicated by initial studies, leveraging its experience from its successful exploration activities in Austria.
The Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Transport and Technology has already approved the acquisition and OMV's operatorship. Helmut Langanger, member of the OMV Executive Board with responsibility for Exploration and Production, commented: "We will apply our advanced technological know-how in 3D seismology in the Bavarian exploration regions. Since OMV's exploration areas in Austria involve geological structures that are similar to those in the Bavarian areas, we expect significant synergies."
The exploration rights, which were granted for a three-year period, cover a seismic option. If initial studies confirm the expected attractiveness of the area, 3D seismic investigations will be carried out and exploration wells drilled. OMV anticipates expenditure of about EUR 2 million in the first year of exploration. Principally, natural gas deposits are expected to be revealed as preliminary studies have already pointed to a number of promising structures in the license areas. The Company expects that it will have initial results at the close of 2004.
The new acquisition was motivated by advances in seismic technology that allow previously unknown subterranean structures to be interpreted. In addition, new geological concepts offer a better understanding of the complex Eastern Alps – Molasse Basin transition zone. Compared with the Vienna Basin, the foothills of the Bavarian Alps are relatively unexplored in terms of application of modern technology.
Participation in the exploration areas Southern Bavaria and Oberallgäu are 45% OMV Bayern Exploration GmbH as operator and 55% Forest Oil Germany GmbH.
Oil and gas deposits in Bavaria: The foothills of the Alps – which are referred to geologically as the Molasse zone – potentially bear natural gas deposits along their entire length from Lower Austria to Switzerland. OMV is extracting gas from a large number of fields in Lower Austria. In southern Bavaria, the "petroleum age" began in 1883 with extraction from the Tegernsee field. Economically significant production was not achieved until 1954. A total of 58 gas and oil deposits have been discovered. Gas production in Bavaria to date has totaled about 18.2 billion cubic meters (bcm). In Austria by comparison, over 78 bcm natural gas has been produced so far (59 bcm by OMV). An adequate natural gas infrastructure.