Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Vienna’s Most Oilholic of all Welcomes

As OPEC ministers and the world’s press descend on Vienna for the 157th OPEC meeting on Thursday, I cannot but help remarking that the city itself gives the most oliholic of all welcomes to its visitors whether you arrive by plane, train or automobile – or in my case – all three – but more on that later.

Landing on a night flight at Vienna airport one can get a direct view of an ocean of spotlights and night lamps of the OMV Schwechat refinery. Once you pull out of the airport, and your taxi or bus takes two right turns and hits the motorway, there’s the refinery again and well if you arrive by train say to Wien Meidling or Wien Westbahnhof stations – the oil tankers and carriages along the way simply cannot be missed.

Perhaps its not unusual to find oil and gas infrastructure in proximity of a major oil and gas town, something which quaint old Vienna is not, in my honest opinion. Still its OMV's hub, which is fast becoming a behemoth, or already is one if you asked a Hungarian analyst given its audacious but ultimately unsuccessful bid to acquire MOL in 2007.

Coming on to the subject of me having used planes, trains and automobiles – well I arrived in Vienna from London by plane earlier in the week, dashed off to Budapest for a meeting by train and have passed in front of the Schwechat refinery in automobiles of various descriptions – budget permitting - for the last six years.

It’s good to be back at OPEC, which is fast becoming an annual pilgrimage for me. Nothing about pricing in this blog post, but cant help observing though that OPEC would not change production quotas on Thursday.

© Gaurav Sharma 2010. Photo: Raffinerie Schwechat © OMV Refining & Marketing GmbH

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