It has been 25 years since Abu Dhabi and Austria signed a consortium agreement that laid the foundation for the strong and enduring commercial partnership. Core to this relationship is Mubadala's shareholding in OMV based on the fact that Abu Dhabi acquired 13% of OMV shares from Österreichische Industrieholding AG (ÖIAG) in 1994. Later, Abu Dhabi increased its stake to 24.9% and in 2019 all the shares were transferred to Mubadala Investment Company.
The partnership between Abu Dhabi and Austria developed further in 1997 with initial acquisitions in Borealis a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers. Building upon this partnership, OMV’s wholly-owned subsidiary PCD Polymere GmbH was transferred into Borealis a year later. As a confirmation of their confidence in Borealis’ business, these holdings were subsequently increased and today Mubadala and OMV shareholdings are 64% and 36% respectively. These investments were a big step in the direction of petrochemicals.
Thomas Schmid, CEO of Österreichische Beteiligungs AG (ÖBAG) on the partnership's achievements: “In this 25-year cooperation, we have succeeded together in establishing OMV as an internationally successful integrated company. And I am confident that OMV’s extensive know-how and experience will further strengthen the existing partnership between Austria and Abu Dhabi.”
Musabbeh Al Kaabi, CEO, Petroleum & Petrochemicals, Mubadala, said, “We are pleased to have participated in a long-term relationship with OMV, both as a shareholder and as partners in Borealis. OMV’s commitment to Abu Dhabi and the company’s role in the success we have achieved together is greatly valued. We look forward to extending our successful track record of collaboration and investment together.”
A key factor in OMV’s successful activities in Abu Dhabi was the opening of a representation office in 2007. Since 2011, OMV Abu Dhabi has served as an upstream subsidiary for fostering the relationship with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), screening new business opportunities and coordinating existing activities in North Africa and the Middle East.
In June 2012 OMV, Wintershall and ADNOC signed a Technical Evaluation Agreement to appraise and potentially develop the Shuwaihat sour gas condensate field, located some 25 km to the west of Ruwais in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi. A year later, OMV signed an Exploration Evaluation Agreement with ADNOC to jointly explore the eastern onshore area of Abu Dhabi. In 2015, ADNOC and OMV collectively explored the eastern onshore region of Abu Dhabi towards Oman through a pioneering 3D and 2D seismic acquisition.
In 2016 Abu Dhabi became the main Hub for all OMV activities in Middle East and Africa. The following year, OMV successfully completed its first operated exploration well in East Abu Dhabi, while a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between ADNOC and OMV laid the foundation for the development of the downstream business in the Middle East.
Under the OMV Strategy 2025, the Middle East & Africa and Asia-Pacific are two out of five key regions for OMV and the company intends to serve new international markets from its Abu Dhabi base while increasing production in this abundant region.
In 2018 OMV became a 20% shareholder in ADNOC’s offshore concession Umm Lulu, SARB, Bin Nasher and Al Bateel. Later that year, OMV and ADNOC signed another concession agreement awarding OMV a 5% interest in the Ghasha concession with a duration of 40 years. The substantial production from these investments mark important milestones for OMV in Abu Dhabi.
Earlier this year in 2019, the foundations were laid for OMV to establish a major downstream oil position in Abu Dhabi, with OMV acquiring a 15% stake in ADNOC Refining and a 15% share in a yet-to-be established Trading Joint Venture. With this acquisition, OMV is set to become a strategic partner in the fourth largest refinery in the world, part of the Ruwais mega-site, which is integrated into petrochemicals.
Additionally, in March, OMV and ADNOC signed two MoUs to explore further significant opportunities for petrochemical collaboration. One agreement provides for cooperation in the petrochemical sector, as well as the exchange of knowledge and experience in petrochemical operations, and refinery-petrochemical integration and optimization. The second MoU intends to explore potential opportunities for cooperation in the area of OMV’s patented ReOil® process with the establishment of a joint working group to assess the feasibility of a scalable ReOil® plant in the UAE.
Rainer Seele, OMV Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO: “OMV has established a strong integrated position in Abu Dhabi along the value chain, ranging from upstream production to refining and trading through to petrochemicals. This is the first time OMV has expanded its fully integrated business model beyond Europe. Our extensive expertise in upstream-downstream-petrochemical integration is a core component of our sustainable success and our strengthened position in Abu Dhabi will allow us to move closer to the attractive growth markets in Asia-Pacific. Hence our footprint in Abu Dhabi is a key component of OMV’s Strategy 2025.”