VIENNA Feb 19 Austria's OMV said it
was working with partner Chevron to reduce the costs of
their North Sea Rosebank oil and gas project and hoped to reach
a final investment decision in 2015.
The two had planned to decide this year, but U.S. oil
company Chevron said in November the development of the project
was not economically attractive. OMV last year estimated the
cost at $10 billion.
"We now estimate that a final decision will come in 2015,"
OMV's head of exploration and production, Jaap Huijskes, told
reporters on Wednesday after the Austrian company presented its
"Both Chevron and we are now doing a load of work to ensure
that in 2015 there will be an economic value," Huijskes said.
"We are working on getting the number below what we mentioned
Chevron's concerns last year raised doubts about a
resurgence of the North Sea oil industry as fears grow over
OMV bought its 50 percent stake in the project from Norway's
Statoil last year, and Huijskes said OMV still intended
to sell a 10 to 20 percent stake, although he gave no details of
how close it might be to any deal.
"There's a lot of work ongoing, both to reduce the cost but
also to rephase the cost to make sure that some of the drilling
gets delayed to later on in the field life, which will have
quite a big impact on the economics of the field," he said.
OMV plans to invest around 3 billion euros ($4 billion) in
exploration and production this year, of a total capital
expenditure budget of 3.9 billion euros.
Chevron said last month it planned to keep spending roughly
$40 billion per year for the next few years on new oil and
natural gas projects in a bid to lift production that is on
track to be flat for the third straight year.