VIENNA: Austrian oil and gas group OMV is committed to Libya despite conflict that has disrupted production and caused some oil majors to abandon projects there, its chief executive said.
Gerhard Roiss said production lost in Libya in the third quarter through labour strikes, militias and political activists that blocked oil fields and ports amounted to less than half a percent of total annual group production.
“We have been active in Libya for many years and we see ourselves being active in Libya also in the future,” Roiss said in an interview late on Tuesday.
He said production in Libya, which accounts for about 10 percent of total group production, was back on stream and currently stable, although he added: “I can’t tell you how it will be tomorrow.”
Exxon said last month it was scaling back in Libya, while Royal Dutch Shell abandoned two exploration blocks there last year. Others have been slow to resume exploration since the 2011 war.
Roiss said a second core region OMV was building up in Norway and the North Sea in addition to its mainstay in Romania and the Black Sea would help it bear volatility elsewhere.
“Both are in stable countries... and together they give more room to be active in markets like Libya,” he said, adding that OMV would be able to give its expectations for a Black Sea gas find that may be its biggest to date in the second half of 2014.
OMV bought stakes in North Sea oilfields from Statoil in a $2.65 billion deal in August, and said last month it had made a major oil discovery in Norway’s Arctic.
The company is investing heavily in upstream exploration and production activities and scaling back retail operations.