Exploration & Production

  • At €2,809 million, sales down by 4%, mainly owing to lower prices
  • Crude oil and natural gas production up by 13%
  • Declining production in Germany due to authorization status for fracking plans
  • Earnings below prior-year level, mainly weighed down by prices

Sales to third parties in the Exploration & Production business sector amounted to €2,809 million, 4% below the level of the previous year. Higher volumes in Russia and portfolio-driven growth in Norway were unable to offset the sharp drop in prices. Furthermore, sales at Wintershall Noordzee B.V. have not been included in BASF Group sales since the fourth quarter of 2015, as the asset swap with Gazprom resulted in accounting for the company using the equity method instead of full consolidation.

The price of Brent crude oil fell by 47% compared with 2014, to $52 per barrel. In euro terms, this was a decrease of 37% to €47 per barrel (2014: €74 per barrel).

Income from operations before special items fell considerably compared with the previous year, mainly as a result of lower prices.

We increased our crude oil and natural gas production by 13%, up to 153 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE). Production rose substantially both in Norway and in our joint operation Achimgaz in Russia. Despite difficult political conditions, we were were able to produce in onshore concession 96 in Libya from February to May and from September to the beginning of November 2015 for a total of 125 days. Contrasting this was the further decrease of production in Germany, which was influenced by both a natural production decline and the authorization logjam for fracking plans in conventional deposits that has continued for more than four years.

In the search for new crude oil and natural gas deposits, we finished drilling a total of 25 exploration and appraisal wells in 2015, of which 17 were successful.

Our proven crude oil and natural gas reserves increased by 2% compared with the end of 2014, to 1,744 million BOE. We replenished 123% of the volumes produced in 2015. The reserve-to-production ratio is around 11 years (2014: 13 years). This is based on Wintershall’s share of production in 2015 and refers to the reserves at year-end.