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Gazprom & Wintershall Sign Master Agreement to Swap Assets

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 12/23/2013, Location: Asia

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Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee and Harald Schwager, Member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Wintershall Holding signed today at the Gazprom headquarters a Master Agreement to swap assets between Gazprom and Wintershall Holding (Wintershall).

As a result of the deal, Gazprom will increase its stakes in European gas trading and storage companies WINGAS, WIEH and WIEE to 100 per cent as well as receive a 50 per cent stake in WINZ involved in hydrocarbon exploration and production in the North Sea.

In its turn, Wintershall will obtain a 25.01 per cent share in the project for developing blocks 4A and 5A in the Achimov deposits of the Urengoyskoye oil, gas and condensate field.

On December 4, 2013 the asset swap deal was approved by the European Commission.

“The demand for Russian natural gas is steadily growing in Europe. An increase of Gazprom's presence in the wholesale market as well as a potential outreach to retail consumers considerably strengthen our positions not only in Germany but in other European countries, too.

The deal with our German partners also gives us access to promising offshore projects in the North Sea. It is an excellent opportunity for the Company's growth,” said Alexey Miller.

“The asset swap will allow us to focus on profitable growth at the source in our targeted oil and gas-rich regions,” said Kurt Bock and added, “Through the joint development of additional blocks in the attractive Achimov formation, we will further expand our production of natural gas and condensate with our partner Gazprom.”

In November 2012 Gazprom and Wintershall Holding signed a binding Heads of Agreement to swap assets.

Wintershall Holding GmbH, headquartered in Kassel, Germany, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BASF. The company has been focused on oil and gas exploration and production for over 80 years. WINGAS, WIEH and WIEE are joint ventures of Gazprom and Wintershall Holding.

WINGAS is a joint venture of Wintershall (50.02 per cent) and Gazprom (49.98 per cent). WINGAS is mainly focused on natural gas wholesale trade and storage. The company supplies hydrocarbons to customers in Germany, where it occupies over 20 per cent of the market, as well as to Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, Austria, the Czech Republic and other countries. WINGAS customers include urban and regional gas utilities, industrial companies and power plants. In 2012 WINGAS sold some 40 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

Wintershall Erdgas Handelshaus (WIEH) is a joint venture of Wintershall (50 per cent) and Gazprom (50 per cent). The company purchases and sells natural gas in Germany.

Wintershall Erdgas Handelshaus Zug (WIEE) is a joint venture of Wintershall (50 per cent) and Gazprom (50 per cent). The company is mainly focused on natural gas sales in Southeastern Europe.

Engaged in geological exploration and hydrocarbon production offshore the North Sea, Wintershall Noordzee (WINZ) is part of Wintershall Holding Group.

The Achimov deposits lie at big depths (nearly 4,000 meters) and feature abnormally high formation pressures (over 600 Ata) and heavy paraffins presence, which considerably complicates their development and exploitation. Geological exploration has proven the Achimov deposits productivity across a vast area of the Nadym-Pur-Taz region. The bulk of recoverable hydrocarbon reserves of the Achimov deposits are accumulated in the Urengoyskoye oil, gas and condensate field, with Gazprom Dobycha Urengoy (Gazprom's fully-owned subsidiary) being the subsurface user. The aggregate production volume in blocks 4A and 5A of the Achimov deposits is estimated at some 274 billion cubic meters of natural gas and 74 million tons of gas condensate through to 2039.

In July 2003 Gazprom and Wintershall Holding set up on a parity basis a joint venture – Achimgaz – for developing the first pilot block of the Achimov deposits in the Urengoyskoye field. In 2008 Achimgaz brought the block into pilot operation. Wintershall Holding also partners up with Gazprom in developing the Yuzhno-Russkoye field development as well as in implementing the Nord Stream and South Stream projects.

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