Oil and Gas activities

Exploration & Production

  • Active portfolio management, including expansion of our position in Norway

Europe: The Mittelplate field off the North Sea coast is the cornerstone of our crude oil production in Germany. We own a 50% stake in this field, the largest known oil deposit in the country. At the Bockstedt oil field, we continued our field test for increasing recovery rates with the biopolymer Schizophyllan.

Our portfolio’s Norwegian activities gained even more in significance through the shares we acquired from Statoil ASA in the producing fields Vega and Gjøa. The transaction increased our production from 40,000 BOE to 60,000 BOE per day. Wintershall Norge AS will take over operations in the Vega field in 2015, provided approval is granted by authorities and partners. Furthermore, we acquired shares in the Aasta Hansteen development project, the Asterix discovery and the Polarled pipeline project, and concluded an agreement with Statoil on even more intensive collaboration in exploration.

We were able to further bolster our portfolio of licenses, mainly through the receipt of eight new exploration licenses including five with our own operatorship. Four of these licenses are for the North Sea: three in the Norwegian Sea and one in the Barents Sea.

We continued our work in developing the Edvard Grieg and Knarr oil prospects in 2014.

The sale of selected investments in development projects on the British continental shelf to the Hungarian MOL Group was concluded in the first quarter of 2014 with retroactive financial effect to January 1, 2013.

Russia: The Yuzhno Russkoye natural gas field in western Siberia has been operating at plateau production since 2009. We have a 35% economic interest in this field. Together with our partner Gazprom, we are currently drafting a development plan for the Turon horizons, another formation in this natural gas field. We hold a stake of 50% in the development of Block IA of the Achimov formation in the Urengoy field in western Siberia. The gradual development of this field was continued; 40 wells were producing at the end of 2014. We are involved in the oilfield exploration and production of the Volgograd area together with Lukoil.

North Africa/Middle East: In Libya, we are the operator of eight oil fields in the onshore concessions 96 and 97. Production there had been suspended in July 2013 as a result of strikes at export terminals; we were able to temporarily resume production in concession 96 to a limited extent in September 2014. In December, the unstable situation once again forced us to shut down production. Production in concession 97 remains unfeasible due predominantly to the ongoing blockade of transport infrastructure. However, we have been able to continue operations without interruption at the Al Jurf offshore oil field in Libya, in which we have a stake.

In May, we started our first exploration drilling as the operator in the development of the Shuweihat sour gas and condensate field in Abu Dhabi. We have shares in this project together with the Abu Dhabi national oil company, ADNOC, and the Austrian oil and gas company OMV.

South America: We hold shares in a total of 15 onshore and offshore fields in Argentina. In the Neuquén Basin, we continued our technology projects to explore the potential for shale gas and oil. We signed a joint venture agreement with the Argentinian company Gas y Petróleo del Neuquén in January 2014 for the exploration and potential further development of the Aguada Federal block. In this 97 square kilometer block, a deposit is being developed in the shale of the Vaca Muerta formation. Wintershall, with its 50% share, is the block’s operator. In Chile, we hold 10% of the San Sebastian block.

For more on current reserves, see
Business review Oil & Gas
Oil and gas reserves

Capital expenditures

Location

 

Project

Total capacity*

Completion

*

Plateau production

**

BOE = barrel(s) of oil equivalent

***

Year of startup

Argentina

 

Development of Vega-Pleyade field

25 million BOE **

2016 ***

North Sea, Norway

 

Development of Knarr field

20 million BOE **

2015 ***

 

 

Development of Maria field

13 million BOE **

2018 ***

 

 

Development of Edvard Grieg field

35 million BOE **

2015 ***/2017

 

 

Development of Aasta Hansteen field

50 million BOE **

2017 ***

Siberia, Russia

 

Achimgaz, development of Achimov horizon in Urengoy gas and condensate field

70 million BOE **

2008 ***/2018

Natural Gas Trading

  • Gas trading and storage business will be continued together with Gazprom

In this business sector, the natural gas trading and storage activities conducted together with Gazprom are predominantly combined into the W & G Beteiligungs-GmbH & Co. KG (W & G) Group. The natural gas transport businesses are gathered into the WIGA Transport Beteiligungs-GmbH & Co. KG (WIGA) Group. W & G and WIGA mainly fulfill holding and financing functions. The natural gas trading, transport and storage sectors act as independent subsidiaries under the umbrella of their respective holding. This organizational structure accommodates the unbundling requirements set down by the German Energy Act.

Natural gas trading: The W&G subsidiary WINGAS GmbH markets natural gas from various producers 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. WINGAS is also active on spot trading markets.

In line with our strategy of growth at the source, we sold our shares in the Leipzig natural gas provider VNG – Verbundnetz Gas AG to EWE AG.

Gas transport: The WIGA Group operates a 3,300 kilometer long-distance network that includes the pipeline links to the Nord Stream Pipeline, the Baltic Sea Pipeline Link (OPAL) and the North European Gas Pipeline (NEL). The significant portions of the project to link the NEL to GASCADE’s existing long-distance network were completed and started up in 2014.

We hold a 15.5% share in the Nord Stream Pipeline through Nord Stream AG, which is accounted for as an investment using the equity method 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 shore up supply security in Europe.

The South Stream Offshore Pipeline through the Black Sea was to be developed, constructed and operated by South Stream Transport B.V. The companies Gazprom (50%), Eni (20%), Wintershall (15%) and EdF (15%) agreed to terminate the South Stream Offshore Project. Gazprom therefore acquired all minority shares on December 29, 2014.

Gas storage: astora GmbH & Co. KG markets the storage capacity of western Europe’s largest natural gas storage facility in Rehden, Germany, as well the share in the storage facilities in Haidach, Austria, and Jemgum, Germany.