Segment profile

BASF’s oil and gas activities are bundled in the Wintershall Group. We focus on exploration and production in oil and gas-rich regions in Europe, North Africa, Russia, South America and the Middle East – focus regions in which Wintershall has a high level of regional and technological expertise. We are also active in the transport of natural gas in Europe with our Russian partner Gazprom.


Oil & Gas – Sales (graphic)

Factors influencing sales
Oil & Gas – Factors influencing sales (bar chart)
Income from operations before special items
(million €)
Oil & Gas – Income from operations before special items (bar chart)

How we create value – an example

Optimized oil treatment and storage

Reconstruction and process optimization of tank farm in Barnstorf

Value for BASF

around 25%

Reduction of investment costs

Value for the environment

around 95%

Reduction of annual energy demand

An innovative construction concept enabled us to save around 25% in investment costs while reconstructing our tank farm in Barnstorf, Germany. Typical construction methods would have meant replacing the previous twelve crude oil and water tanks with five new ones, and building individual facilities for separating the oil from associated substances and storing it. Because our new tanks allow both at the same time, four new tanks were sufficient. These can be employed more flexibly and economically and ensure lower maintenance costs.

The new, optimized tanks are especially safe and do not require large concrete containment systems underneath. Instead, the oil tanks feature an accessible annular gap, while the water tanks are constructed with vacuum-monitored double walls. This increases their energy efficiency: Thanks to the thermally insulating air layer in the annular gap and the especially well insulated double floor, the amount of energy needed to heat the oil tanks has been reduced by around 95% over the course of a year.


  • Growth through exploration, acquisitions, strategic partnerships and technological expertise
  • Contribution to securing Europe’s natural gas supply

In the future, crude oil and natural gas will continue to contribute significantly toward covering the rising energy demand of a growing world population. That is why we invest in the exploration and production of oil and gas, primarily in our core regions Europe, North Africa, Russia and South America. We want to establish the Middle East as another core region in our portfolio.

Selected collaborations and strategic partnerships, innovative technologies and the responsible development and production of hydrocarbons all form the basis of our growth-oriented strategy. Through the continuous optimization of our cost structure and portfolio of oil and gas activities, we ensure our future competitive viability, even in times when oil and gas prices are low. Measured by production volumes, gas activities comprised around 70% of our portfolio.

Handling hydrocarbons in a responsible manner demands special measures for the protection of people and the environment. We therefore carefully assess the potential effects of every project before we begin. Together with experts, contractors and relevant stakeholders, we develop methods and carry out measures for using resources even more efficiently and minimizing impact on the environment. This includes acting in accordance with international agreements, legal requirements and our own, self-imposed high standards.

Wintershall’s natural gas trading and storage activities were transferred to Gazprom with the swap of assets of equal value completed in September 2015, and are no longer part of our portfolio. Our cooperation with Gazprom in the natural gas transport business continues unaltered. With western Europe’s long-term demand for natural gas steadily on the rise, while its local production simultaneously decreases, securing sufficient imports is gaining in importance.