22 September 2011 16:10 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--OMV plans to divest up to €1bn ($1.37bn) of assets by 2014 as part of a plan to increase its strategic focus on exploration and production (E&P), the Austrian oil, gas and petrochemical group said on Thursday.
Assets in OMV’s refining and marketing (R&M) division, which includes the group’s petrochemical business, will be sold, the company said in a presentation on its 10-year strategy through to 2021.
In response to persistent market speculation that the assets for sale might include its 36% stake in Austrian plastics specialist Borealis, OMV noted that Borealis is a profitable business.
Refining units and filling stations are among assets earmarked for divestment, it added.
In a press release on the change in strategy, OMV said: “Reflecting contracting oil product demand in Europe, OMV will adjust its exposure to the R&M business segment and target divestments in the magnitude of up to €1bn until 2014 by decreasing refining capacity and marketing assets.
“Furthermore, OMV will change the product yield of its refineries towards market demand for middle distillates and petrochemical feedstock, especially propylene. R&M will also increase its asset optimisation activities via enhanced asset-backed trading capabilities. Special emphasis will be put on effective management of capital and cost efficiency."
The next 10 years will see OMV dedicate around two-thirds of its investment budget to E&P, with a particular focus on the Caspian region, the Middle East and North Africa, the company added.
By 2021, E&P will make up around 55% of OMV's asset base, compared with 35% at present, the company said.
Another strategic target is the creation of a completely integrated gas business along the entire gas value chain, it added.
($1 = €0.73)
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