Natural Gas Trading
- Preparation for complete transfer of previously jointly operated natural gas trading and storage business to Gazprom
- Nordeuropäische Erdgasleitung (Northern European Natural Gas Pipeline) reaches full transport capacity
The activities in this business sector conducted together with Gazprom are predominantly combined into the W & G Beteiligungs-GmbH & Co. KG (W & G) Group. W & G primarily fulfills holding and financing responsibilities for the gas trading, transport and storage business, and holds the shares in the Ostsee-Pipeline-Anbindungsleitung (Baltic Sea Pipeline Link, or OPAL). The natural gas trading, gas transport and gas storage sectors act as independent subsidiaries under the umbrella of the holding. This organizational structure allows us to meet the unbundling requirements set down by the German Energy Act.
Natural gas trading: The W & G subsidiary WINGAS markets natural gas from various sources to Germany and other European countries. Its main customers are municipal utilities and regional gas suppliers as well as larger industrial firms and power plants. Furthermore, WINGAS is active on spot trading markets. As part of the agreed-upon asset swap, we will completely transfer our shares in WINGAS and in the natural gas trading companies in Berlin and in Zug, Switzerland – including their subsidiaries – to Gazprom.
Gas transport: The W & G Group’s transport companies operate a gas pipeline system over 3,200 kilometers long. Construction work on the Nordeuropäische Erdgasleitung (North European Natural Gas Pipeline, or NEL) was completed in October 2013. With its full transport capacity of around 20 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year, the NEL is now ready for commercial operation.
We hold a 15.5% share in the Nord Stream Pipeline through Nord Stream AG, which is equity-accounted as a financial asset in the BASF Group financial statements. Other shareholders are Gazprom (51%) and E.ON (15.5%), as well as N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie and GDF Suez (9% each). With a total capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year, this pipeline, which stretches from Russia to the German coast over the Baltic Sea, helps bolster supply security in Europe.
The South Stream Offshore Pipeline through the Black Sea is developed, constructed and operated by South Stream Transport B.V. The company is owned by Gazprom (50%), Eni (20%), Wintershall (15%) and EdF (15%). The gradual expansion to a transport capacity of 63 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year is scheduled to begin at the end of 2015.
Gas storage: The WINGAS subsidiary astora GmbH & Co. KG markets the storage capacity of Western Europe’s largest natural gas storage facility in Rehden, Germany, as well as our share in the Haidach storage facility in Austria. The Jemgum natural gas storage facility in northern Germany began partial operations in 2013. We will transfer our gas storage activities to Gazprom as part of the asset swap.