OMV driving the energy industry towards more efficient operations

OMV driving the energy industry towards more efficient operations

/ News & Interviews / Thursday, 02 January 2020 09:02

The Austrian integrated oil and gas company, OMV, has proven itself as leader in the market for more than 60 years now. Its history throughout the years was marked with progress reflected by its adoption of the newest innovations that emerged in every phase, in order to grow and to offer the best experience.

In an exclusive interview with Senior Vice President Middle East & Africa at OMV Upstream, Erwin Kroell, he elaborates more on how the company is embracing the new technologies in this digital era within the company as well as with clients. 

What are the latest projects and initiatives completed by OMV?

The latest projects we have done at OMV here in the Middle East and Africa region is that we have signed for two concessions with ADNOC last year in April and December for Umm Lulu, SARB, and for Hail Ghasha. This was actually the first time we entered into concessions in UAE. We’ve also signed earlier this year a 15% share in ADNOC Refining. This is the first time in history that OMV sets up a fully integrated business in upstream and downstream outside of Europe.

How are innovative technological solutions integrated in OMV’s operations? Could you highlight some of them?

At OMV, innovation and technology are key enablers of the Group strategy. OMV seeks innovative solutions to optimize operations, explore business opportunities and develop new business models. Investments in innovation, research and development and strategic partnerships are vital to ensure our long-term sustainability of the business. To highlight a few:

OMV is among the best in the world in terms of achieving high recovery rates in mature fields. OMV hereby focuses on various Increased Oil Recovery (IOR) and Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) methods. Additionally, in order to develop a competitive and carbon-optimized portfolio for our customers, OMV actively explores new feedstock, new technologies and new products. Close cooperation between OMV experts and external research institutes has also yielded impressive results in artificial lift methods, including measurable reductions in power consumption and downtime of sucker rod pumps. In 2017, nearly 6,500 wells were equipped with artificial lift systems, leading to considerable savings in operating expenditures.

Due to the variety of technology applications, we have successfully reduced the cost of our operations, which is very important to be economically fit for oil prices we currently see. This allows us to stay positive and economic as a company even in a lower price oil environment.

OMV recently established a nanotechnology department. What value does it add to the company and what’s its focus?

Within OMV’s recently established nanotechnology department, research is directed to increase integrity, improve production and finally reduce operating costs. Initial tests have been started with a successful first pilot in Romania, where the cost for chemicals to avoid paraffin problems could be reduced substantially. Additionally, the number of well interventions could be lowered.

How is OMV being carbon efficient today?

OMV is fully committed to climate change mitigation and responsible resource management, and has consequently set targets to manage and reduce the carbon footprint of our operations and product portfolio. Reducing greenhouse gases will decrease our environmental impact and have a positive financial impact by improving compliance with climate-related regulatory requirements and ensuring the efficient use of resources. We strive to be regarded as one of the low-carbon leaders in the oil and gas industry.

OMV has a strongly defined carbon strategy and has set a clear commitment to decrease the carbon intensity of our operations. We have set our carbon strategy objectives as follows:

  • We aim to reduce carbon intensity of operations by 19 % until 2025 and the carbon intensity of OMV’s product portfolio by 4% until 2025.
  • An internal carbon shadow price is introduced which is factored into the way we calculate the costs of projects.
  • A zero routine flaring and venting policy for new projects and a phase out for existing routine flaring and venting until 2030 is introduced via the new OMV Group standard environmental management and via endorsing the World Bank Initiative “Zero routine flaring by 2030”.
  • Transparency vis-à-vis investors with regard to OMV’s carbon performance

How is OMV transforming as an enterprise into digital?

OMV is a worldwide pioneer in technology. Now we are ready to go one step further. By using state-of-the-art technologies, we become the “digital leader” in the oil and gas industry. We want to leverage digital technologies to make smarter investment choices with a high impact. We will innovate at speed and scale to adapt our organization, skills and mindset to the digital world.  And we enable by building unified digital platforms to become a truly data driven company. This Journey opens up a whole new world of opportunities. That is why OMV is investing more than 500 million euros in dedicated initiatives and projects to become a digital leader in its field.

But it is key not to forget that digitalization can only work with transformation and hence creating a digital mindset as well as reshaping the talent landscape and integrating technology partners and startups.

Can you elaborate more on OMV’s Sustainability Strategy 2025?

The Sustainability Strategy 2025 is part of OMV’s Corporate Strategy 2025. The five focus areas: “Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE)”, “Carbon Efficiency”, “Innovation”, “Employees”, as well as “Business Principles and Social Responsibility” include fifteen measurable targets.

Of course growing demand for energy and accelerating climate change pose immense challenges for the energy sector. The key lies in finding the balance between climate protection efforts, affordable energy, and reliable supply. Alternative energy systems as well as economically viable and scalable technologies for industry and the private sector must be developed. Here, we will make a significant contribution to the sustainable energy supply of future generations.

Our goal is to provide ‘oil and gas at its best’. We are convinced that a responsible approach to oil and the increased use of gas will support the energy transition. Together with other energies, oil and gas will secure the energy needs of the future.

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