VIENNA, March 2 (Reuters) - Austria’s OMV wants its operations in the Middle East to become a counterweight to its Russian business and therefore aims to expand them to an equal size, the oil and gas group’s chief executive said in an ORF radio interview aired on Friday.
“With our commitment in the region, we want to create a counterweight to the strong activities that we have established in Russia,” Rainer Seele said.
“We will try to expand the Middle East business to a comparable scale,” he said.
OMV has sought to build defences against persistently low oil prices by shifting out of high-cost European sites such as the North Sea to Russia.
The group will present its new medium-term strategy on March 13, which is expected to include a strong focus on the Middle East.
Abu Dhabi investment firm International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) is the second-largest shareholder in OMV. (Reporting by Kirsti Knolle Editing by Maria Sheahan)