Last Update:
March 1, 2012

Natural Gas Trading

  • The WINGAS Group combines our main activities in natural gas trading, transport and storage
  • Expansion of natural gas infrastructure in Germany and Europe together with Gazprom
  • Stake acquired in the offshore section of the South Stream pipeline, from Russia through the Black Sea to southeastern Europe

The WINGAS Group, operated jointly with Gazprom, combines our main activities in natural gas trading, transport and storage.

Nord Stream pipeline

Important role in supplying the European Union with energy

Value for BASF

Up to

9 billion m3

of natural gas annually

secured for the next 25 years

Value for the environment


reduction in carbon emissions

per year

Value for BASF

Natural gas imports in Europe will increase sharply in the future as a result of growing demand and decreasing domestic production. We help to strengthen and secure energy supplies in the long term with our direct and reliable link to Russia’s gas reserves, the largest in the world. The WINGAS Group will procure a total of over 200 billion cubic meters of natural gas through the Nord Stream pipeline over the next 25 years.

Value for the environment

Our detailed Eco-Efficiency Analysis has shown that the Nord Stream pipeline is clearly superior to two alternate onshore routes: The shorter distance, higher average transportation pressure and lower number of compressor stations allow an annual saving of up to 1.4 billion cubic meters of fuel gas and 4 million metric tons of carbon emissions.

Natural gas trading: We market natural gas from various sources to Germany and other European countries. Our main customers are municipal utilities, larger industrial firms and regional gas suppliers.

We meet our gas needs primarily through long-term supply contracts. In addition, we are increasingly active in international spot trading markets due to their growing importance.

Gas transport: WINGAS transferred ownership of its gas pipeline network, including the personnel required for its maintenance, operation and development, to WINGAS TRANSPORT in 2010, thus fulfilling many of the requirements of the amendment to the German Energy Act (EnWG). In 2012, we will undertake additional legal and organizational unbundling of network and storage operations as required by the EnWG amendment.

The construction of the Nord Stream pipeline from Russia through the Baltic Sea to the German coast and its associated onshore projects for onward transport to the European transportation network will significantly strengthen Europe’s natural gas infrastructure. Nord Stream AG, builder and operator of the offshore pipeline, is consolidated in the BASF Group Consolidated Financial Statements according to the equity method. The shareholders in Nord Stream are: Gazprom (51%), Wintershall (15.5%) and E.ON Ruhrgas (15.5%), as well as N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie and GDF Suez (9% each).

Construction on the Baltic Sea Pipeline Link (OPAL), which starts near Greifswald, Germany, was completed in the middle of 2011. The 470 kilometer natural gas transit pipeline has a transport capacity of more than 35 billion cubic meters and started operations together with the first Nord Stream pipeline in fall 2011.

Construction on the second pipeline link, the North European Gas Pipeline (NEL), was begun in March 2011. Due to safety concerns, however, the Higher Administrative Court in the city of Lüneburg has temporarily halted construction on parts of the NEL. Various solutions are currently being explored. Construction on the other sections of the pipeline is proceeding as planned. The 440 kilometer-long NEL should partly begin operations, together with the second line of the Nord Stream pipeline, at the end of 2012.

Wintershall signed shareholders’ agreements in September 2011 to join South Stream Transport AG, which will develop, construct and operate the offshore portion of the South Stream pipeline through the Black Sea. Apart from Gazprom (50%) and Wintershall (15%), other shareholders in South Stream Transport AG are the Italian oil and energy company Eni (20%) and the French electric power company EdF (15%).

Gas storage: Important components of our storage portfolio include the largest natural gas storage facility in Western Europe, in Rehden, Germany, and the natural gas storage facility in Haidach, Austria. In accordance with our growth strategy, we continue to expand our storage capacity. Construction is progressing on the Jemgum natural gas storage facility in Northern Germany, which is expected to begin operations in 2013. Furthermore, we have completed the second expansion phase of the storage facility in Haidach, Austria.

Important developments in 2011

  • The first Nord Stream pipeline and the OPAL pipeline (Baltic Sea Pipeline Link) begin operations as planned
  • Construction begun on the North European Gas Pipeline (NEL)
  • Construction on the Jemgum natural gas storage facility progressing; second expansion phase completed at Haidach natural gas storage facility
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