The European Commission approved the asset swap deal between Gazprom and Wintershall. The deal is supposed to increase Gazprom's stakes in gas trading and storage companies of WINGAS Group to 100 per cent as well as in WIEH and WIEE – to 100 per cent. Gazprom will also receive a 50 per cent stake in WINZ, which runs natural gas exploration and production projects in the North Sea.
The decision taken by the European Commission is indispensable for securing the deal.
The acquisition of additional stakes in the Russian-German companies is a part of the Agreement between Gazprom and Wintershall on asset swap under the project for the joint development of the Achimov deposits in the Urengoyskoye oil, gas and condensate field.
According to the document, Wintershall may acquire 25 per cent plus one share in the new joint venture for developing blocks 4A and 5A in the Achimov deposits of the Urengoyskoye field.
Upon completion of the deal, Gazprom will broaden its possibilities to store, transport and sale natural gas in Europe and Wintershall will have a wider access to gas production in Russia.
“We welcome the approval of this deal by the European Commission. This decision reflects the consent of the EU's executive body with the fact that the deal complies with the European law without offending the competition policy in Europe,” said Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee.
In November 2012 Gazprom and Wintershall signed a legally binding Basic Agreement on asset swap.
Being a wholly owned subsidiary of BASF, Wintershall Holding operates in the power generation industry. Gazprom and Wintershall Holding set up joint ventures: WINGAS, WIEH and WIEE.
Wintershall Erdgas Handelshaus Zug (WIEE) is a joint venture of Wintershall (50 per cent) and Gazprom (50 per cent). The company is focused on Russian natural gas supplies to the countries of Southeastern Europe and the analysis of potential investments in the national gas markets of these countries.
Wintershall Erdgas Handelshaus (WIEH) is a joint venture of Wintershall (50 per cent) and Gazprom (50 per cent). The company operates in the gas trading sector and performs natural gas purchasing, transportation, storage and sale in various European countries.
WINGAS is a joint venture of Wintershall (50 per cent plus one ordinary share) and Gazprom (50 per cent less one ordinary share). WINGAS is mainly focused on natural gas trading. The company supplies hydrocarbons to customers in Germany, Belgium, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic and Denmark. WINGAS customers include municipal and regional gas suppliers, industrial enterprises and power plants.
Focused on geological exploration and hydrocarbon production offshore the North Sea, Wintershall Noordzee (WINZ) is part of Wintershall Holding Group.
Wintershall Holding partner Gazprom in developing the Yuzhno-Russkoye field and the Achimov deposits in the Urengoyskoye field as well as constructing the Nord Stream and the South Stream gas pipelines.
The Achimov deposits lie at depths of nearly 4,000 meters and feature abnormally high formation pressures (over 600 Ata) and heavy paraffins presence. 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 reserves of the Achimov deposits contained in the Gazprom Dobycha Urengoy owned fields alone account for more than 1 trillion cubic meters of natural gas and 200 million tons of gas condensate (category C1).
In July 2003 Gazprom and Wintershall Holding (wholly-owned subsidiary of BASF) set up the Achimgaz joint venture to develop the first pilot block of the Achimov deposits in the Urengoyskoye field. In 2008 Achimgaz brought the block into pilot operation.