Wintershall increases stake in Grosbeak discovery
Kassel / Stavanger. Wintershall Holding AG, Germany’s largest producer of crude oil and natural gas and an internationally active company, is stepping up its activities in the Norwegian North Sea. After announcing the Grosbeak discovery in production license 378 in July, Wintershall is now set to secure a further stake in this promising discovery. This is part of an agreement between Wintershall Norge ASA and Spring Energy AS which was signed this week and whereby Wintershall Norge will acquire a 5% working interest in PL 378 from Spring Energy. Following Authority approval of the transaction Wintershall will own a 45% working interest in this operated license. At the same time, Spring will acquire a 2.5% interest in the Brage field from Wintershall Norge. Spring will also farm into five exploration licenses with working interests ranging from 10% to 15%. Wintershall is planning well activities for two of these licenses in 2010.
Harald Vabø, General Manager of Wintershall Norge, explained, “This transaction is part of the process to highgrade our portfolio, which, following the integration of Revus and Wintershall, is one of the largest exploration portfolios in Norway. At the same time, Wintershall strengthens its equity position in our operated Grosbeak license, where we also see exciting further potential. This discovery is the first Wintershall operated discovery in Norway, and it is our intention to move this forward aggressively towards development, parallel to testing out the further potential in the license.”
Wintershall made the Grosbeak discovery in the summer of 2009 after being awarded PL 378 in the APA 2005. The partner interests, following closing of this transaction are Wintershall Norge ASA with 45%, Norwegian Energy Company ASA with 20%, Premier Oil Norge AS with 20% and Spring Energy Norway AS with 15%. The Grosbeak well proved both oil and gas. It is located to the east of the Astero discovery, where Wintershall is a partner. The drilling of wildcat well 35/12-2 was the first exploration well in PL 378 and Wintershall’s first operated well. The gross size of the discovery is estimated at 6 to 30 million standard cubic meters (Sm3) of recoverable oil equivalents, which corresponds to up to 180 million boe. Further exploration and appraisal is planned for 2010. Wintershall Norge ASA is now the fifth-largest license holder in Norway, with 53 licenses overall, including 19 operated licenses.
Wintershall has North Sea expertise going back 44 years
The North Sea is one of the traditional core regions of Wintershall. The wholly owned BASF subsidiary has been active there since 1965 and operates 25 oil and gas platforms in the Dutch and one in the German North Sea. In order to enhance the efficiency of its operations in the southern sector of the North Sea, Wintershall operates 19 of its 26 offshore platforms centrally from land – via one of the most modern radio control systems in the world, which is located in Den Helder in the Netherlands. This technology, which won the BASF Innovation Award in 2008, makes it possible to develop smaller deposits profitably too, thus safeguarding the company’s future production from the Netherlands’ offshore reserves. Around half of the natural gas consumed in Europe today still comes from the countries bordering the North Sea: Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, the UK and Germany.
Wintershall, based in Kassel, Germany, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BASF in Ludwigshafen. The company has been active in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas for over 75 years. Wintershall focuses on selected core regions, where the company has built up a high level of regional and technological expertise. These are Europe, North Africa, South America, as well as Russia and the Caspian Sea region. Today, the company is Germany’s largest crude oil and natural gas producer, and with its subsidiaries, WINGAS and WINGAS TRANSPORT, it is also an important gas supplier on the German and European market.