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OMV to boost oil output 47% by 2010

OMV AG, central Europe's biggest oil company, said it plans to boost oil and gas production by 47% and double refining capacity by 2010, driven by expansion in Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey and the North Sea. Production will increase to 500,000 barrels of oil a day, the company announced. Refinery acquisitions are targeted to add as much as 500,000 barrels a day of capacity. OMV bought Romania's SNP Petrom SA last year, tripling its oil output in a period when oil prices have climbed 45%. The Vienna-based company, which last month lost an auction to acquire a Turkish refiner, is still seeking assets in the country and wants to add gas stations in Europe to benefit from fuel prices that have surged 66% in the past year. OMV is competing with companies including Hungary's Mol Rt and Poland's PKN Orlen SA as economic growth in the region is boosting demand for fuel. OMV last week said it agreed to buy 70
service stations in the Czech Republic from BP Plc to become the largest fuel retailer in the country. The price wasn't disclosed.