None of OMVs projects in the Middle East to be shelved or downsized

Despite reporting a 56% fall in underlying operating earnings Q4-2008, Austrian oil and gas group OMV has decided that its performance will not affect the future of its unfinished projects. OMV has decided that none of its projects in the Middle East will be shelved or downsized, including an ethylene cracker project in Abu Dhabi, oil projects in Iraq and Yemen, as well as a refinery project in Pakistan in partnership with IPIC. OMV’s earnings before interest and tax fell to US$385.7 mln in Q4-2008, partly hit by foreign exchange losses at Turkish affiliate Petrol Ofisi and reduced market demand at Borealis. The Austrian company estimates 2009 earnings to fall as the global economic downturn weighs down demand and oil prices fall. The main market drivers – crude price, refining margins and the exchange rate, are expected to remain highly volatile. The CEO said the new oil and projects world over will still go ahead. "We have completed the restructuring and optimisation of our western refinery operations and are developing several oil and gas fields that will lead to a production growth in 2009, Abu Dhabi based International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) has a 20% stake in the company.
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