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OMV Signs Memorandum With Socar as CEO Meets Azeri President

May 20 (Bloomberg) -- OMV AG, central Europe’s biggest oil company, signed a memorandum of understanding with the State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan this week when Chief Executive Officer Gerhard Roiss met Azeri President Ilham Aliyev in Baku.

The memorandum focused on “enhanced cooperation” between OMV and the State Oil Co., also known as Socar, OMV said in an e-mailed statement today, adding that the talks with Aliyev centered on OMV’s “potential investment plans in the country.”

In the meeting, which took place on May 18, Socar President Rovnag Abdullayev and Roiss discussed the “prospects for cooperation in the extraction, transportation and marketing of oil and gas,” Socar said in a separate statement.

OMV is in negotiations with the BP Plc-led Shah Deniz venture in Azerbaijan on long-term natural gas supply for transport from the Caspian region via Turkey to Europe. OMV is part of the 7.9 billion-euro ($11.3 billion) Nabucco pipeline project, which aims to deliver gas to Europe bypassing Russia. The plan is supported by the U.S. and European Union.

“Azerbaijan is one of the key countries to deliver natural gas to cover the growing demand in Europe,” Roiss said in the statement. “As part of the Nabucco consortium, OMV is looking forward to concluding first supply contracts and increase its gas business in this country.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Zoe Schneeweiss in Vienna at zschneeweiss@bloomberg.net; Zulfugar Agayev in Baku via the Moscow news room at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net

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