OMV sells off its Pakistan upstream unit

March 1 (UPI) — Austrian energy company OMV said it was leaving the Pakistani exploration and production sector behind with a $ 191 million divestment.

OMV said it was selling its upstream business unit in Pakistan to a Hong Kong company. The Austrian company held a stake in five development and production leases.

“The divestment represents a further step in optimizing OMV’s upstream portfolio,” a corporate statement read.

OMV recorded a net profit for the fourth quarter at $ 383 million, compared with a loss of $ 466 million year-on-year. Total sales revenue, meanwhile, was $ 6 billion, compared with $ 6.6 billion a year earlier.

For this year, the company said it expected to produce around 420,000 barrels of oil per day on average, compared with the 377,000 bpd produced in the fourth quarter. Production from its assets in Russia should account for about a quarter of the total output this year.

OMV started producing gas for Pakistan in November, years after the initial discovery and as the country copes with chronic energy issues. The well can produce as much as 15 million cubic feet of gas and 1,400 barrels of an ultra-light petroleum production called condensate per day.

With about 27 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, Pakistan has enough on hand to address demand for about 20 years.

Liquefied natural gas, which offers more options for delivery than piped gas, has been on the Russian radar for Pakistan for at least two years. Russia is a frequent OMV partner.

OMV holds a 10 percent stake in a joint venture between Pakistan and Abu Dhabi in the refining side of the nation’s energy sector that isn’t part of the divestment.

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