Innovation, New Technologies, and Digitalization

Innovation and new technologies

OMV’s Upstream strategy is to apply state-of-the art technologies developed in-house to well-maintained assets, to pilot these technologies, and to promote rapid global implementation. The current focus of research and development is on improving recovery rates and extending the lifetimes of mature fields.

OMV applies various enhanced oil recovery methods which are part of the Smart Oil Recovery 3.0 (SOR 3.0) program. This enables OMV to increase ultimate oil recovery by up to 15 percentage points in selected fields and thus extend the field life. Thanks to further progress with the rollout of SOR projects, more than 440 of incremental oil was produced by OMV Austria by the end of 2020. In Austria, the program continues with eight additional highly slanted wells scheduled to be drilled in Q1/21.

The two Upstream laboratories OMV Tech Center & Lab and OMV Petrom Upstream Laboratories (ICPT) continue to strengthen their partnership for working on the SOR projects in Romania. The exchange aims to use the knowledge and experience gained from the Austrian SOR projects by the Tech Center & Lab in recent years.

Increasingly complex reservoir fluid conditions are resulting in faster degradation of pipelines and processing equipment. To address this, OMV Upstream is growing its expertise in the application of nanotechnology products. A first pilot application in sucker rod pumping systems of wear- and corrosion-reducing nanocoatings uncovered the benefits of the technology. Promising results have also been achieved in laboratory studies using nanofluids for enhanced oil recovery by stabilizing emulsions and altering the wettability of reservoir rocks.

Significant progress has been made with the launch of the OMV Innovation & Technology Center (ITC) in Austria. More than 100 guided tours and events were held between June 2020 and the end of the year, all in compliance with COVID-19 measures.

Supplementing existing partnerships with leading international universities, OMV continues to run joint initiatives with Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas in Moscow.


Over two years ago, we launched our global Upstream digital initiative called DigitUP to bring digital transformation to all value-added areas and regions where OMV is active. DigitUP’s goal is to bring innovations from a wide range of industries into OMV’s everyday work, thus making our work safer, more sustainable, and more profitable.

In 2020, we further strengthened our partnerships with companies such as Aker BP, Schlumberger, Aucerna, Microsoft, and Cognite. The aim is to share experiences and ideas on the digital journey that give us firsthand access to the latest digital developments.

In 2020, one key area in Subsurface focused on improving the efficiency of exploration and development projects by connecting our subsurface assets with surface information and production facilities in 3D models.

In New Zealand, condensate optimization for the Pohokura natural gas field was put into operation, resulting in a revenue increase while freeing up engineering time. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, we used remote certification and virtual site visits to continue with our offshore production in New Zealand while complying with restrictions. This avoided production deferments. Reducing long-distance travel further resulted in lower risk exposure, lower external costs, and a CO2 footprint reduction overall.

The newly constructed “Drilling Cockpit” now provides a location-independent, cross-disciplinary collaboration environment for critical well-engineering decisions. Drilling activities are monitored in real time, backed by historic simulations, and supported by Group-wide subject matter experts. This makes drilling safer by reducing potential incidents and keeping losses to a minimum.

The GeoCloud rollout at all locations enables 540 employees secure access to more than 140 petrotechnical applications and 1 petabyte of data. This ensures that we can fully utilize our people’s capabilities while they are working remotely during COVID-19 from any location with any device.

In December 2020, OMV and Schlumberger announced a five-year strategic partnership to work on an enterprise-wide deployment of artificial intelligence and digital solutions. One aspect of the partnership will focus on improving data search capabilities and ways to store and access data. In Subsurface, the pilots have proven that state-of-the-art applications will shape the future landscape of subsurface technologies for exploration and development. The goal is to optimize the hydrocarbon life cycle in exploration and field development and to utilize artificial intelligence to identify prospects and automatically update our reservoir models. This will contribute to shorter field development times and improved plan development economics.

Thousand barrels of oil equivalent