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Wintershall is awarded ten new licenses in NorwayCompany secures highest number of production licenses on the Norwegian Shelf after Statoil

Stavanger/Kassel. Wintershall is continuing to steadily expand its activities in Norway: the subsidiary Wintershall Norge ASA has just been awarded ten new production licenses from the Norwegian energy ministry as part of the APA 2010 licensing round. Wintershall will be the operator in six of the licenses. This means that Wintershall received the most licenses out of the 41 competitors after the majority state-owned energy company Statoil. 50 new production licenses on the Norwegian continental shelf were awarded overall. "Our success in the current APA licensing round is confirmation that the long-term strategy which Wintershall is pursuing in Norway is working. The expertise in producing oil and gas in the North Sea which we have cultivated over the last 45 years is at the heart of our outstanding exploration success in Norway. We now intend to build on this success with the new licenses," Bernd Schrimpf, Managing Director at Wintershall Norge ASA, explained. The company discovered six new oil fields in the North Sea last year alone. Wintershall is investing around 50 percent of its global exploration budget in Norway.

The new licenses cover activities in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea (6), the Norwegian Sea (3) and the Barents Sea (1). "We believe the greatest potential lies in expanding our key areas. The allocation of seven new licenses in the area round our discoveries Maria, Grosbeak and Beta is therefore particularly interesting for Wintershall," Schrimpf explained. Wintershall will take over as operator with a share of 50 percent in the license areas PL 575 and PL 370 B in the Norwegian North Sea off the coast of central Norway. The license areas PL 577 (Norwegian North Sea) and PL 589 (Norwegian Sea) were awarded to Wintershall as operator with a share of 40% in each. In addition, Wintershall has been granted the operatorship in license PL 378 B (45 %) in the Norwegian North Sea as well as in license PL 475 CS (25%) in the Norwegian Sea. Bernd Schrimpf announced that the company would start working on the new areas promptly: "We will soon begin with the seismic exploration of the fields and evaluate any existing data at the same time." 


With around 40 licenses, Wintershall is one of the largest license holders in Norway - in almost half of these licenses it holds the operatorship. The company is aiming for a production level in Norway of around 50,000 BOE per day by 2015.Wintershall coordinates its activities in the Northern North Sea from Stavanger, the heart of Norway's oil and gas industry.

Experienced and responsible operator

The North Sea is one of Wintershall's traditional core regions. The wholly owned BASF subsidiary has been active in the North Sea since 1965 and currently operates 25 crude oil and natural gas platforms in the Dutch North Sea, and one in the German North Sea. Moreover, Wintershall sets standards in this region: in order to further improve the efficiency of its operations in the southern section of the North Sea, Wintershall has been controlling 19 offshore platforms centrally from land with one of the most modern radio surveillance systems for about two years now. This reduces the number of helicopter flights needed to the platforms by a third. Furthermore, the increased efficiency in platform operations makes production from smaller and older reservoirs commercially viable. Rijswijk, near The Hague, is home to the corporate-wide Competence Center for Offshore Technology and also the headquarters of Wintershall Noordzee, which manages the activities in the southern North Sea. Wintershall also produces crude oil from Germany's Wattenmeer national park together with the German company RWE Dea. Production from the ecologically sensitive area has been running without incident for more than 20 years.

New licenses

Norwegian North Sea: PL370B (50%,op), PL375B (15%), PL575 (50%,op),  PL378B (45%, op), PL577 (40%,op), PL360B (15%)
Norwegian Sea: PL475CS (25%,op), PL589 (40%,op), PL590 (30%)
Barents Sea: PL594 (20%)

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. In addition, these operations are complemented by the company's growing exploration activities in the Arabian Gulf. Today, the company employs more than 2,000 staff worldwide from 35 nations and is Germany's larg-est crude oil and natural gas producer. With the subsidiaries it operates together with Russia's Gazprom, WINGAS and WINGAS TRANSPORT, the BASF subsidi-ary is also an important gas supplier on the German and European market.

Contact: Verena Sattel

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