• BASF to increase oil and gas production and exit gas trading and storage business;
• BASF Group company Wintershall to receive 25% plus one share in the blocks IV und V in the Achimov formation of the Urengoi field in western Siberia;
• Gazprom to take over 100% of the currently jointly run natural gas trading and storage business as well as 50% of Wintershall Noordzee B.V.
Dr. Kurt Bock, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE, and Alexej Miller, Chairman of the Management Committee of OAO Gazprom, today (November 14, 2012) signed a legally binding basic agreement to swap assets of equivalent value. Through the swap, BASF aims to further expand its production of oil and gas and to exit the gas trading and storage business. Subject to the approval by the relevant authorities, the transaction is to be completed by the end of 2013 and financially retroactive to April 1, 2013.
Through the agreement, two additional blocks of the Achimov formation of the Urengoi natural gas and condensate field in western Siberia will be jointly developed. Wintershall, a 100% subsidiary of BASF, will receive 25% plus one share of the blocks IV and V in the Achimov formation together with the option to increase the share in the two gas and condensate deposits to 50%. According to the development plan confirmed by the Russian mining authority, blocks IV and V have total hydrocarbon resources of 274 billion cubic meters of natural gas and 74 million metric tons of condensate. This is equivalent to a total of 2.4 billion barrel of oil equivalent. A total annual plateau production of at least 8 billion cubic meters of natural gas is expected from the two blocks. Start of production is planned for 2016.
In return, Wintershall will completely transfer the currently jointly operated natural gas trading and storage business to its long-term partner Gazprom. This includes the 50% shares in the gas trading companies WINGAS, WIEH (Wintershall Erdgashandelshaus Berlin) and WIEE (Wintershall Erdgashandelshaus Zug) including shares in the natural gas storage facilities in Rehden and Jemgum, Germany, as well as Haidach, Austria, and the gas storage operator astora. Gazprom will also receive a 50% share in the activities of Wintershall Noordzee B.V., which is active in the exploration and production of oil and gas in the southern North Sea (Netherlands, UK and Denmark). Together the activities to be divested contributed €8.6 billion to sales and €350 million to income from operations (EBIT) of the BASF Group in 2011. The partnership in the area of the construction, operation and marketing of natural gas pipelines will continue unchanged.
“The asset swap is consistent with our strategy to expand the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas – through organic growth and targeted acquisitions,” said Dr. Kurt Bock. “With this step, we are further developing our more than 20 year partnership: Gazprom will become more active in the natural gas trading and storage business and we will jointly expand the production at the source.”
“Through the agreement, Gazprom and BASF are confirming their strategic partnership on the international energy market. By increasing our share in the gas trading and storage business, we are continuing our successful activities to secure the supply of gas for Europe. The agreement on exploration and production extends the geographic dimension of our cooperation, which has already successfully started with production projects in Russia,” said Alexej Miller.
Wintershall has been the preferred partner of Gazprom for many years in the production of natural gas in Russia. With the projects Yuzhno Russkoye and Achimgaz, Wintershall – Germany’s largest internationally active crude oil and natural gas producer – and Gazprom already jointly produce gas. The competitive advantages that Wintershall has through its technological competence, operational excellence and long-term cooperations with national oil companies are becoming even more important in the area of exploration and production of oil and gas. The traditional natural gas trading business, however, offers Wintershall little possibility for differentiation.
Today, the expansion of activities at the source has already been successful. Since 2000, Wintershall’s production of crude oil and natural gas has increased from 80 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) to an expected around 140 million boe in 2012. This is an average increase of 5% per year. By 2015, the company plans to increase production to at least 160 million boe. Especially the production of oil and gas in Russia and the northern North Sea is to be expanded.
Based in Kassel, Germany, Wintershall Holding GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of BASF and has been active in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas for over 80 years. Wintershall focuses on selected core regions, where the company has built up a high level of regional and technological expertise. These are Europe, North Africa, South America, as well as Russia and the Caspian Sea region. In addition, these operations are complemented by the company’s growing exploration activities in the Middle East. Today, the company employs more than 2,000 staff worldwide from 40 nations and is Germany’s largest internationally active crude oil and natural gas producer.
Activities in Russia
The natural gas field Yuzhno Russkoye was already commissioned in 2007. Wintershall has a 35 percent share in the commercial success of the field via OAO Severneftegazprom. The field already reached plateau production of 25 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year in the middle of 2009. All 143 production wells are in operation. The field Yuzhno Russkoye in western Siberia, which was discovered in 1969, has recoverable reserves of more than 600 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
ZAO Achimgaz, a joint venture of Gazprom subsidiary OOO Gazprom dobytscha Urengoi (50%) and the wholly owned BASF subsidiary Wintershall (50%), produces natural gas and condensate from block 1A of the Achimov formation of the Urengoy field in the Siberian city of Novy Urengoy about 3,500 kilometers north-east of Moscow. Achimgaz plans to produce up to 200 billion cubic meters of natural gas and 40 million metric tons of condensate from the block over a period of more than 40 years. Achimgaz is currently producing around one billion cubic meters of natural gas a year from six pilot wells in the Achimov formation, which is technically extremely challenging, of the Urengoy field (Block IA). In November 2011, the next phase of the project expansion was launched, initially with 20 new planned wells. In the coming years, over 100 wells are set to raise production to an annual plateau level of about eight billion cubic meters.
At the end of October 2011 Gazprom and BASF/Wintershall agreed on the terms and conditions for the development of two additional blocks of the Achimov formation in a framework agreement – with a plateau production potential of at least eight billion cubic meters of gas per year.
Activities of Wintershall Noordzee B.V.
The North Sea is one of the traditional core regions of Wintershall. The wholly owned BASF subsidiary has been active there since 1965. Wintershall is one of the largest producers of natural gas in the Netherlands and operates a total of 23 offshore installations there. To ensure the efficiency of its operations, Wintershall controls 18 of these Dutch platforms and one in Germany as well as the Wingate platform in the UK, operated by Wintershall, from Den Helder with a cutting-edge radio surveillance and control system.
WINGAS, WIEE und WIEH
Gazprom and the wholly-owned BASF subsidiary Wintershall have already been active in natural gas trading in Germany and other European countries since 1990 via the German-Russian joint ventures WIEH (Wintershall Erdgashandelshaus Berlin), WIEE (Wintershall Erdgashandelshaus Zug) and WINGAS . WINGAS is one of the largest natural gas traders on the German market, and the company has also positioned itself successfully in Europe. WINGAS has been supplying customers in Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, the UK, Austria and the Czech Republic for many years – and this sector is growing. Its customers are primarily resellers (municipal utility companies, regional companies and gas wholesale companies) as well as large industrial consumers and power stations.
WIEH supplies customers in Germany and WIEE supplies customers in Romania and Bulgaria with natural gas and helps develop the infrastructure in the south-east European markets. To date WIEE has delivered more than 48 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Romania and over 8 billion cubic meters to Bulgaria.
The WINGAS subsidiary astora GmbH & Co. KG is one of the largest marketers of natural gas storage capacities in Europe. In Rehden, south of Bremen, Germany, astora operates the largest natural gas storage facility in western Europe. More than four billion cubic meters of natural gas can be stored here. This volume is enough to supply two million single-family homes with natural gas for a year. The storage portfolio also includes a third of the capacities of the second-largest natural gas storage facility in central Europe - in Haidach in Austria. The cavern storage facility in Jemgum in Lower Saxony, currently under construction, rounds off the portfolio.
BASF (basf.com) is the world’s leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. We combine economic success, social responsibility and environmental protection. Through science and innovation we enable our customers in almost all industries to meet the current and future needs of society. Our products and system solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring healthy food and nutrition and helping to improve the quality of life. We have summed up this contribution in our corporate purpose: We create chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF posted sales of about €73.5 billion in 2011 and had more than 111,000 employees as of the end of the year. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN).
OAO Gazprom (gazprom.com) is the world's leading natural gas company specializing in the exploration, production, transport, storage, processing and marketing of natural gas and other hydrocarbons as well as energy generation. Gazprom's gas reserves are estimated at 29 billion cubic meters, i.e. around 70% of Russia's and 18% of the world's gas reserves. Gazprom is responsible for around 80% of Russian and 15% of global natural gas production. Gazprom has a 26% share of gas supplies on the European market and exports to 31 countries.
This release contains forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current estimates and projections of BASF management and currently available information. They are not guarantees of future performance, involve certain risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict, and are based upon assumptions as to future events that may not be accurate. Many factors could cause the actual results, performance or achievements of BASF to be materially different from those that may be expressed or implied by such statements. BASF does not assume any obligation to update the forward-looking statements contained in this release.