OMV opts for petrochemicals
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Austrian corporation OMV has chosen its way forward in terms of the energy transition. And unlike most of Europe’s oil and gas giants aiming at becoming energy companies, OMV has decided to reorient its business on developing petrochemicals, the company’s CEO, Rainer Seele, told Global Energy.

OMV has decided not to transform towards a power company. We are transforming into a chemical company because we have been driven by competitive advantages and chemistry is in the DNA of OMV,” Seele said in an interview.

So that’s why other companies are investing to produce power, whereas OMV is investing to produce the materials to build wind farms and solar panels.”

Seele said companies should not halt their investments in oil and gas projects as that would destabilise markets which were not yet prepared to fully abandon fossil fuel resources. “I really have to say that we have to be really careful reducing our heavy investments in oil and gas,” he said. 

There are many scenarios I have seen that we are going to see a shortage of oil and gas for the markets because the market is not changing as quickly as our investment behaviours.”

In a longer -term perspective, Seele said, hydrogen could well be the energy resource in demand – both “green” hydrogen and “blue” hydrogen produced by using methane. 

And OMV, he said, intended to work on the development of hydrogen projects on the basis of Russian gas.

We do have a very strong interest in cooperating  with our friends in Russia, investing in especially blue hydrogen, which means producing hydrogen out of natural gas and we are going to use CCS technology to gave C02-free hydrogen in our pipeline,” Seele said.

“I think that this is the cheapest and most efficient way, in the short and mid-term to prepare the hydrogen market for bigger volumes to be produced by (this or that) producer…”

I am very much criticising the European Union and the Commission for focusing only on green hydrogen.”

In any event, Seele said, a complete transition to hydrogen is not on the horizon until after 2030.

“…it’s a very long-term future. I don’t see hydrogen making a big story until 2030,” he told Global Energy.

It has a huge impact if we speak about industrial application…I think all the hydrogen needed for processes in the industry is the very big potential long term, but as we speak about mobility, it will take longer, especially in Europe.”

I don’t see the European automotive industry moving heavily short and medium-term into hydrogen mobility. They are preparing it. And I can’t understand because they only want to get rid of the CO2 and its very easy to go on to electromobility.”


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September 2021