Risk Management

Like the oil and gas industry as a whole, OMV is exposed to a variety of risks – including market and financial risks, operational risks, and strategic risks. The Group’s risk management processes focus on identification, assessment, and evaluation of such risks and their impact on the Group’s financial stability and profitability. The objective of these activities is to actively manage risks in the context of the Group’s risk appetite and defined risk tolerance levels.

It is OMV’s view that the Group’s overall risk is significantly lower than the sum of the individual risks due to its integrated nature and the fact that various risks partially offset each other. The balancing effects of industry risks, however, can often lag or weaken. OMV’s risk management activities therefore focus on the net risk exposure of the Group’s existing and future portfolio. The interdependencies and correlations between different risks are also reflected in the Company’s consolidated risk profile. Risk management and insurance activities are centrally coordinated at the corporate level by the Treasury and Risk Management department. This department ensures that well-defined and consistent risk management processes, tools, and techniques are applied across the entire organization. Risk ownership is assigned to the managers who are best suited to oversee and manage the respective risk.

The overall objective of the risk policy is to safeguard the cash flows required by the Group and to maintain a strong, investment-grade credit rating in line with the Group’s risk appetite.

Enterprise Wide Risk Management

Non-financial and financial risks are regularly identified, assessed, and reported through the Group-wide Enterprise Wide Risk Management (EWRM) process.

The main purpose of the OMV Group’s EWRM process is to deliver value through risk-based management and decision-making. The assessment of financial, operational, and strategic risks helps the Group leverage business opportunities in a systematic manner. This ensures that OMV’s value grows sustainably. Since 2003, the EWRM system has helped enhance risk awareness and improve risk management skills across the entire organization, including subsidiaries in more than 20 countries. The OMV Group is constantly enhancing the EWRM process based on internal and external requirements.

A cross-functional committee chaired by the OMV Group CFO with senior management members of the OMV Group – the Risk Committee – ensures that the EWRM process effectively captures and manages material risks across the OMV Group.

The process is facilitated by a Group-wide IT system supporting the established individual process steps: risk identification, risk analysis, risk evaluation, risk treatment, reporting, and risk review through continuous monitoring of changes to the risk profile. The overall risk resulting from the bottom-up risk management process is computed using Monte Carlo simulations and compared against planning data. This is further combined with a top-down approach from the senior management view to capture the risks coherent with the strategy. The process also includes companies that are not fully consolidated. Twice a year, the results from this process are consolidated and presented to the Executive Board and the Audit Committee. In compliance with the Austrian Code of Corporate Governance, the effectiveness of the EWRM system is evaluated by the external auditor on an annual basis. The key non-financial and financial risks identified with respect to OMV’s medium-term plan are:

  • Financial risks including market price risks and foreign exchange risks
  • Operational risks, including all risks related to physical assets, production risks, project risks, personnel risks, IT risks, and regulatory/compliance risks
  • Strategic risks arising, for example, from changes in technology, climate change, risks to reputation, or political uncertainties, including sanctions

Financial risk management

Market price and financial risks arise from volatility in the prices of commodities including the market price risks from European Emission Allowances, foreign exchange () rates, and interest rates. Also of importance are credit risks, which arise from the inability of a counterparty to meet a payment or delivery commitment. As an oil and gas company, OMV has a significant exposure to oil and gas prices. Substantial FX exposures include the , , , , and . The Group has a net USD long position, mainly resulting from oil production sales. The comparatively less significant short positions in RON, NOK, NZD, and RUB originate from expenses in local currencies in the respective countries.

Management of market price risk, FX risk, European Emission Allowances

Analysis and management of financial risks arising from foreign currencies, interest rates, commodity prices, European Emission Allowances, counterparties, liquidity, and insurable risks are consolidated at the corporate level. Market price risk is monitored and analyzed centrally in respect of its potential cash flow impact using a specific risk analysis model that considers portfolio effects. The impact of financial risks (e.g., market prices, currencies) on the OMV Group’s cash flow and liquidity are reviewed quarterly by the Risk Committee, which is chaired by the CFO and comprises the senior management of the business segments and corporate functions.

In the context of market price risk and FX risk, the OMV Executive Board decides on hedging strategies to mitigate such risks whenever deemed necessary. OMV uses financial instruments for hedging purposes to protect the Group’s cash flow from the potential negative impact of falling oil and gas prices in the Upstream business.

In the Downstream business, OMV is especially exposed to volatile refining margins and inventory risks. Corresponding hedging activities are undertaken in order to mitigate those risks. Those include margin hedges as well as stock hedges. In addition, Emission Compliance Management ensures a balanced position of emission allowances by selling the surplus or covering the gap.

Management of interest rate risk

To balance the Group’s interest rate portfolio, loans can be converted from fixed to floating rates and vice versa according to predefined rules. OMV regularly analyzes the impact of interest rate changes on interest income and expense from floating rate deposits and borrowings. Currently the effects of changes in interest rates are not considered to be a material risk.

Management of credit risk

Significant counterparty credit risks are assessed, monitored, and controlled at the Group and segment level using predetermined credit limits for all counterparties, banks, and security providers. The procedures are governed by guidelines at the OMV Group and OMV Petrom level.

Operational risks

The nature of OMV’s business operations exposes the Group to various health, safety, security, and environment (HSSE) risks. Such risks include the potential impact from natural catastrophes as well as process safety and personal security events. Other operational risks comprise risks related to the delivery of capital projects or legal/regulatory non-compliance. All operational risks are identified, analyzed, monitored, and mitigated following the Group’s defined risk management process.

Control and mitigation of assessed risks takes place at all organizational levels using clearly defined risk policies and responsibilities. The key Group risks are governed centrally to ensure the Group’s ability to meet planning objectives through corporate directives, including those relating to health, safety, security, environment, legal matters, compliance, human resources, and sustainability.

OMV puts a special focus on five Sustainability Strategy areas: HSSE, Carbon Efficiency, Innovation, Employees, Business Principles, and Social Responsibility. OMV Executive Board members regularly (at least quarterly) discuss present and upcoming environmental, climate, and energy-related policies and regulations; related developments in the fuels and gas market; the financial implications of CO2 emissions-trading obligations; the status of innovation project implementation; and progress on achieving sustainability-related targets. OMV focuses on assessing the potential vulnerabilities of the company to climate change (e.g., water deficiency, droughts, floods, landslide), the impact of the company on the environment, and the mitigation actions that will ensure a successful transition to a low carbon environment (e.g., carbon emission reduction, compliance with new regulatory requirements).

As OMV’s activities rely on information technology systems, the Group may experience disruption due to major cyber events. Security controls are therefore implemented across the Group to protect information and cyber assets that store and process information. IT-related risks are assessed, monitored regularly, and managed actively with dedicated information and security programs across the organization.

Through systematic staff succession and development planning, Corporate Human Resources targets suitable managerial staff to meet future growth requirements in order to mitigate personnel risks.

Strategic risks

OMV operates and has financial investments in countries that are subject to political uncertainties, in particular Libya, Kazakhstan, Yemen, Russia, Malaysia, and Tunisia. Possible political changes may lead to disruptions and limitations in production or an increased tax burden, restrictions on foreign ownership, or even nationalization of property. However, OMV has extensive experience in managing the political environment in emerging economies. Political developments in all markets where OMV operates are observed continually. Country-specific risks are assessed before entering new countries. In addition, the potential impact of the Brexit scenario on OMV Group companies was undertaken, which showed that there is no significant impact expected.

OMV also evaluates the risk of potential US or sanctions and their impact on planned or existing operations. The aim here is to stay in full compliance with all applicable sanctions. In particular, risks due to US sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 project and on OMV’s activities in Russia are regularly assessed and monitored. The financing agreements for the pipeline project Nord Stream 2 are not affected by the US sanctions.

OMV regularly evaluates the Group’s exposure to climate-change-related risks in addition to the market price risk from European Emission Allowances. Such risks comprise the potential impact from acute or chronic events like more frequent extreme weather events or systemic changes to our business model due to a changing legal framework or substitution of OMV’s products due to changing consumer behavior. OMV recognizes climate change as a key global challenge. We thus integrate the related risks and opportunities into the development of the Company’s business strategy. Measures that we implement to manage or mitigate such risks are set out in the relevant sections of this report, particularly in Sustainability and Strategy.

For further details on risk management and the use of financial instruments, please refer to Note 28 of the Consolidated Financial Statements.

For further details on climate-change-related risks and their management, see the OMV Sustainability Report 2019.

For further details on health, safety, security, and environmental risks, please refer to the chapter Health, Safety, Security, and Environment in the Directors’ Report.

Health, Safety, Security, and Environment
Foreign exchange
US dollar
New Romanian leu
Norwegian krone
New Zealand dollar
Russian ruble
European Union