ISLAMABAD - Austrian Ambassador Axel Wech has hosted a reception at his residence to mark the national day of his country. The national anthem of Pakistan and Austria were played to open the ceremony.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's US remained the hot point of discussion among the participants. One ambassador was of the opinion that both sides have indicated their priorities in the bilateral relations and at least they had a better understanding of each other's point of view.

One participant remarked that the 15 minutes one-to-one Obama-Nawaz meeting was a major breakthrough in which they developed a positive understanding with each other.

The Austrian ambassador was witnessed looking after the guests here and there. He also addressed the gathering in which he thanked the participants. He also introduced Ayesha Riaz, Ambassador-designate to Austria. Ayesha, who is a career diplomat and presently serving in the foreign ministry, said on the occasion that she is going to Vienna on November 7.

Christian Wohlmuther, Deputy Head of Austrian Embassy, has recently joined the embassy in Islamabad. He informed that he had served in Islamabad from 2000-2004 and had come back on his own choice as his last tenure was a pleasant experience in Pakistan.

Peter Seitinger, General Manager OMV, an oil and gas company, shared on the occasion that his company is producing 10 per cent gas of the total production in Pakistan.

Currently, OMV holds interests in eight exploration blocks, of which five blocks (South West Miano II, Gambat, Latif, Mubarak, Mehar) are operated by OMV and three blocks (Harnai, Barkhan, and Kalat) are operated by two major national E&P companies.

OMV had started exploration activities in the desert of Sindh in 1991 and made its first significant gas discovery at Miano in District Sukkur in Sindh in 1993. This was followed by another sizeable discovery of the Sawan Gas field in the Khairpur District of Sindh Province in 1998. OMV made two additional gas discoveries in 2007 (Latif and Tajjal) in the northern Sindh Province, which have opened the potential for further discoveries in the vicinity.

In March 2013 OMV participated in the new exploration-licensing round as the only international company and received provisional award for two blocks together with PPL. OMV is amongst the largest international natural gas producers in Pakistan in terms of volumes.