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Innovation & Technology

At OMV, Innovation & Technology are key enablers of the Group strategy. OMV seeks innovative solutions to optimize operations, explore business opportunities and develop new business models. Investments in innovation, research and development and strategic partnerships are vital to ensure long-term sustainability of the business.

OMV’s approach to drive innovation & technology:

  • One of OMV’s core ambitions centers on the use of new technologies to continuously enhance recovery rates of mature fields and enable highly efficient oil and gas field exploration and production even in challenging environments. OMV hereby focuses on various Increased Oil Recovery (IOR) and Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) methods.
  • Additionally, in order to develop a competitive and carbon-optimized portfolio for our customers, OMV actively explores new feedstocks (e.g. synthetic crude oil from post-consumer plastics), new technologies (e.g. hydrogen from renewable energy, hydrothermal liquefaction or enzymatic conversion of CO2) and new products (e.g. electricity, advanced liquid and gaseous products).
  • OMV collaborates with leading international universities (e.g. University of Cambridge, Stanford University, TU Vienna, Montanuniversität Leoben, Johannes Kepler Universität Linz, Universität für Bodenkultur Wien etc.) as well as international research institutes (e.g. Fraunhofer, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Austrian Institute of Technology, Joanneum Graz etc.) and engages in fruitful research collaborations with industry partners and research initiatives globally.
  • Construction of the worldwide OMV Innovation & Technology Center at OMV in Gänserndorf started: On October 1, 2018, the construction of the OMV Innovation & Technology Center (ITC) started in the area of OMV Austria in Gänserndorf.  In future, investors, business partners and visitors will be guided through an exhibition of technological excellence of OMV in this planned building. OMV innovations & technologies, which are developed by OMV  and applied worldwide, will be presented there. The completion of the ITC is planned for 2020.

OMV’s innovation & technology portfolio – selected project highlights

Optimized drilling, production and reserves

Increased and enhanced oil recovery
OMV is among the best in the world in terms of achieving high recovery rates in mature fields. While the international average recovery rate for crude oil is about 40%, OMV succeeded in increasing production rates of wells in the super-mature Matzen field in Austria, pushing ultimate recovery above 55% by using water injection. In 2012, OMV started a pilot project for viscous saltwater injection in the Matzen field in Austria. In total, 200,000 boe incremental oil were produced by the end of 2017. Based on the promising results, OMV plans a rollout to different fields. OMV is currently pursuing its Smart Oil Recovery 3.0 Program by testing a combination of viscous saltwater and alkali to increase ultimate recovery.

Artificial lift
Close cooperation between OMV experts and external research institutes has yielded impressive results in artificial lift methods, including measurable reductions in power consumption and downtime of sucker rod pumps. In 2017, nearly 6,500 wells were equipped with artificial lift systems, leading to considerable savings in operating expenditures. In Austria, the number of well interventions could be decreased by 22% from 190 in 2015 down to 116 in 2017, lowering operating expenditures by 20%. This does not include additional cost savings due to the reduction of production deferments.

Material management
Extending the lifetime and reliability of materials and facilities is an OMV priority for ensuring safe, sustainable and cost-efficient hydrocarbon production. OMV implemented extensive corrosion control and material selection programs for optimum equipment performance and maximum service life, saving more than EUR 450 mn over the past 20 years. With the recent increase in sour crude, pipelines and processing equipment degrade faster than usual. OMV is investigating new technologies, such as nanotechnology coatings, to improve
material resistance and reliability. This approach has also had a major positive impact on health, environmental and safety issues. Additionally, OMV developed a plastic lining for tubing, patented in 16 countries. Lined tubing is tubing where crosslinked polyethylene pipes are inserted in order to protect the tubing from abrasion and corrosion.

Within OMV’s recently established nanotechnology department, research is directed to increase integrity, improve production and finally reduce operating costs. Initial tests have been started with a successful first pilot in Romania, where the cost for chemicals to avoid paraffin problems could be reduced substantially. Additionally, the number of well interventions could be lowered.

Transforming OMV into a digital enterprise

Digitalization and Industry 4.0 change the way we run our business. They open up opportunities to unlock value along the entire value chain – in oil and gas exploration, refining and sales and in administrative processes like finance and human resource management. It is OMV’s clear ambition to become a digital leader in key areas. The groupwide digital transformation bundles numerous initiatives in the fields of advanced analytics, cybersecurity, process digitization, automation as well as connectivity and sensing. To enable the digital transformation, OMV invests in a unified digital platform and an integrated data management. For OMV, digital transformation is more than applying and scaling technology – it is about people and culture. Therefore, creating a digital mindset and reshaping the talent landscape are an integral part of OMV’s digital transformation as well as the integration of technology partners and startups.