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BUCHAREST (Romania), April 19 (SeeNews) - Romania's top oil and gas group OMV Petrom [BSE:SNP] said on Friday its shareholders have approved a 4.17 billion lei ($985 million/876 million euro) investment budget for 2019 and the company will pay a 35% higher dividend for 2018.
Some 3.42 billion lei of the planned investment will be directed towards Upstream operations, while investment in Downstream Oil will amount to 551 million lei, OMV Petrom said in a statement following a general meeting of its shareholders.
Upstream investment will partly mitigate the natural production decline given field maturity. Oil and gas production in Romania, excluding new portfolio optimization initiatives, is expected to decrease by 4% in 2019 compared to 2018, the company said.
The 2019 investment budget is based on an average Brent price of $70 (62 euro) per barrel.
“The 4.17 billion lei investment budget for 2019 is money that will mostly go into the Romanian economy. OMV Petrom is an essential player in the economic landscape: it supplies the energy needed by millions of Romanians and thousands of local businesses, it contributes to business
development and it secures thousands of jobs for Romanians," OMV Petrom CEO Christina Verchere said.
Also on Friday, OMV Petrom's shareholders approved the executive board’s proposal to distribute as dividend some 1.53 billion lei, or 0.027 lei per share for 2018, 35% higher than the dividend payout for the previous year.
The total gross value of the dividend to be distributed accounts for 38% of the group net income attributable to stockholders of OMV Petrom in 2018, the company said. More than 315 million lei will go to the Romanian state, which holds 20.639% of OMV Petrom's shares through the energy ministry.
On Monday, OMV Petrom said that its new polyfuel unit at the Petrobrazi refinery has started production following a total investment of 65 million euro.
OMV Petrom is the largest energy company in SEE with an annual hydrocarbon production of 58.3 million boe in 2018. The group also operates an 860 MW high-efficiency power plant. The group is present on the oil products retail markets in Romania and neighbouring countries through 794 filling stations as at the end of 2018, under two brands – OMV and Petrom.
Shares of blue-chip OMV Petrom traded 0.27% higher at 0.3670 lei as at 1518 CET on Friday on the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
(1 euro=4.7607 lei)