On September 30, as a result of a swap asset deal between PJSC Gazprom and the German chemical group BASF SE, Gazprom International, Gazprom’s unified specialised operator of international upstream projects, has secured a 50% stake in Wintershall Noordzee B.V. (WINZ) and Wintershall Services B.V. (WIS).
WINZ, based in Rijswijk, the Netherlands, is the oldest natural gas producer in the North Sea region. The company is known for its cost-effective offshore field development using subsea production modules under conditions of abnormally high reservoir pressures and high temperatures, and the development of fields with tight gas reserves. The company also successfully employs horizontal directional drilling and multi-stage fracturing technologies. The company owns more than 50 licenses for hydrocarbon exploration and production in the Netherlands, Denmark and the UK. Production is performed from 25 platforms that are run from a unified centre for remote controlled operations at Den Helder (the Netherlands). Most of the hydrocarbons that are produced are sold on the Dutch market. Along with obtaining a 50% share in WINZ, Gazprom will increase its natural gas production in the North Sea by more than three times.
WIS is a specialised enterprise providing engineering personnel for work on WINZ platforms.
Moreover, as a result of the deal, Gazprom increased its share to 100% in European gas trading and storage companies such as WINGAS, WIEH and WIEE, which were in the Wintershall Holding GmbH Group.
Wintershall, in return, received a 25.01% stake in a project on the exploration and development of Blocks 4A and 5A in the Achimov deposits of the Urengoy oil, gas and condensate field.
"For over 40 years Gazprom has been a reliable supplier to Europe. Strengthening the company's position in the European gas storage and sales segment guarantees a stable supply of gas to consumers," says Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, in a PJSC Gazprom Press Service statement.
Gazprom's press release today also quotes Kurt Bock, Chief Executive Officer of BASF SE: "Following the tradition of our long-term relationships in the gas trading and storage sector, we have handed over this segment to our partner – Gazprom. We are convinced that the company will continue its productive development. We also look forward to a further extension of cooperation with Gazprom in the joint production of natural gas and condensate in West Siberia."
The binding framework of the Asset Swap Agreement, which envisaged the conclusion of the deal, was signed on 14 November 2012 in Moscow by Gazprom and BASF (controlling Wintershall) CEOs. The final asset swap agreements were slated to be signed in December 2014, but due to the difficult international situation the dates of concluding the deal were changed.
Wintershall Holding GmbH is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BASF SE group, with over 80 years of experience in oil and gas exploration and production.
Wintershall Noordzee B.V. (WINZ) is part of Wintershall Holding Group and focuses on the exploration and production of hydrocarbons in the Dutch, UK and Danish sectors of the North Sea.
WIEH (Wintershall Erdgas Handelshaus GmbH & Co. KG) is responsible for the purchase and sale of natural gas in Germany.
The major activity of WIEE (Wintershall Erdgas Handelshaus Zug AG) is the sale of natural gas in South-Eastern Europe.
Gazprom International has already been active in the North Sea within the Wingate gas field development consortium, which the company joined with a 20% share in September 2012. The project is operated by Wintershall Noordzee (49.5%); other shares are distributed among the companies Gas Union - 15.0% and XTO UK - 15.5%.
There, in the North Sea, as part of international consortia, Gazprom International also participates in the gas projects of two promising structures, Winchelsea and Sillimanite.