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Wintershall makes its mark in NorwayGermany's largest producer of crude oil and natural gas opens new offices for Norwegian subsidiary

Stavanger. Wintershall is stepping up its investment in northern Europe: with the opening of the new headquarters of the Wintershall subsidiary Wintershall Norge ASA in Stavanger, Germany's largest producer of crude oil and natural gas with worldwide operations is moving its Norwegian headquarters from Oslo to the center of the Norwegian crude oil and natu-ral gas industry. “Our move to Stavanger represents another step in the implementation of our strategy to significantly increase our crude oil and natural gas production in Norway”, Dr. Rainer Seele, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Wintershall Holding AG, said at the open-ing ceremony of the new offices. Following the acquisition of Revus Energy ASA in December 2008, Wintershall Norge ASA is now the fifth-largest license holder in Norway, with 53 licenses overall, including 19 as the operator.

“Norway plays a key role within our “Gas for Europe” strategy. Because of its large oil and gas reserves, and the links to western European markets, Norway is now Europe’s most important supplier alongside Russia”, Dr Seele said. Since the move in October, around 70 employees have begun working in the new offices of Wintershall Norge in Stavanger. “The new premises ensure enough capacity for our clear growth targets”, Harald Vabø, General Manager of Wintershall Norge ASA, added.

BASF subsidiary Wintershall already struck crude oil and natural gas in the summer in its first operated exploration well, “Grosbeak”, in Norway. Well 35/12-2 in production license 378 about 55 kilometers off the coast of Nor-way was the first well within this concession.  “The Grosbeak discovery could give us a head start in becoming one of the most important operators on the Norwegian continental shelf. The discovery also adds another pos-sibility for growth to our portfolio”, Dr. Ties Tiessen, Member of the Board of Executive Directors of Wintershall Holding AG and responsible for pro-duction, explained

“Our first operated well in Norway not only has the potential to be a signifi-cant discovery in itself, it also increases the probability of further resources in the area”, Harald Vabø said underlining the significance of this success. “Our team is now fully focused on evaluating the results and determining the next steps, such as technical studies and appraisal wells.” In May Germany’s largest producer of crude oil and natural gas was also awarded a stake in two offshore exploration licenses in the Norwegian section of the Barents Sea in a new allocation round by the Norwegian state. Wintershall won a 20 percent share in both 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 op-erates 25 oil and gas platforms in the Dutch and one in the German North Sea. “We are now applying this expertise to build on our strong po-sition in the North Sea in the Norwegian waters too”, Wintershall CEO Dr. Seele declared. In order to enhance the efficiency of its operations in the southern sector of the North Sea, Wintershall operates 18 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.

Contact: Verena Sattel

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