OMV, the Austrian energy conglomerate, has significantly increased its purchases of Russian natural gas in the last quarter, according to a statement released by the company on Tuesday. On average, OMV purchased 5.4 terawatt-hours, equivalent to over 55 million cubic meters, of Russian gas on a monthly basis. This amount is more than double compared to the same period last year and contributes to OMV’s total gas supply to Austria and Germany.
The purchase is part of OMV’s long-term agreement with Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned energy company. However, the statement also highlighted the uncertainty surrounding future delivery volumes, which could result in substantial losses if the actual deliveries deviate from the nominated volumes.
In the third quarter of 2022, OMV imported a total of 2.5 terawatt-hours of gas on a monthly basis from Gazprom for its supply to Austria and Germany. This figure increased slightly in the following quarter to 2.8 terawatt-hours. The entire volume flowed to Austria.
During the first quarter of this year, OMV purchased an average of 4.8 terawatt-hours of gas from Gazprom for supply to Austria. In the second quarter, the volume amounted to 4.9 terawatt-hours. These figures demonstrate the steady increase in OMV’s gas purchases from Russia.
OMV is a significant player in Austria’s energy sector, covering approximately 30% of the country’s gas needs. The company was one of the first to agree to pay for Russian gas in rubles under a new settlement mechanism introduced by Moscow. This mechanism is mandatory for countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia, often referred to as ‘unfriendly countries.’ OMV’s decision to continue buying Russian gas in rubles reinforces its commitment to maintaining a stable energy supply and the economic well-being of Austria.
OMV’s CEO, Alfred Stern, has confirmed the company’s intention to uphold its long-term contract with Gazprom and does not plan to exit the agreement anytime soon. The contract, which was signed in 2018, is set to run until 2040. Stern emphasized that as long as Gazprom continues to supply gas, OMV will continue to purchase the agreed quantities.
This development in gas purchases from Russia by OMV aligns with the country’s energy strategy, which prioritizes diversification and security of supply. While Austria seeks to increase its renewable energy sources, it acknowledges the importance of maintaining gas imports from reliable partners like Russia to ensure energy security.
In conclusion, OMV’s increased purchases of Russian natural gas reflect the company’s ongoing commitment to its long-term agreement with Gazprom. Despite the uncertainties surrounding future delivery volumes, OMV recognizes the vital role that Russian gas plays in Austria’s energy mix and will continue to rely on this partnership for the foreseeable future.