Wintershall makes oil discovery in the Dutch North Sea

Rijswijk/Kassel, (PresseBox) - Wintershall announces an oil discovery in exploration licence F17a in the Dutch North Sea about 120 kilometers north of Den Helder. Exploration well F17-10 found a Late Cretaceous Chalk reservoir of good quality containing crude oil. Oil was produced during a production test. The well was spudded on 18 September 2012 with jack-up rig GSP Saturn in a water depth of 44 meters. The well drilled to a total depth of 1490 meters into the top of a salt dome. Measurements taken in the well indicate the presence of a significant oil column. Preliminary resource estimates indicate a potential of at least 30 million barrels recoverable oil with a more than significant upside. The well will be plugged and abandoned. Commercial viability of the discovery as well as further upside will need to be confirmed through appraisal drilling planned in 2013.

Gilbert van den Brink, Managing Director of Wintershall Noordzee B.V. stated: "We are delighted with the results from this well. It has been a while since one of our exploration wells has been targeting for oil. Although we are also operating the Kotter and Logger oil fields, for some time now the focus of Wintershall Noordzee is set around producing gas fields and exploring for gas. This discovery gives us the opportunity to grow our business in the Netherlands and provide a more balanced portfolio in terms of oil and gas. Our challenge now will be to move this discovery from the exploration phase, through appraisal drilling in 2013, to the development phase thereafter. Furthermore, we are looking for additional exploration drilling in this area. It would be great if we can add one or two additional oil fields on the map again."

Partners in Licence F17a are:

Wintershall Noordzee B.V. (operator) 30%
EBN B.V. 40%
GDF SUEZ E&P Nederland B.V. 20%
Rosewood Exploration Limited 5%
TAQA Offshore B.V. 5%

A positive signal about the future of exploration in the southern North Sea

Wintershall is one of the largest gas producers in the southern North Sea and operates 25 offshore platforms there overall - 23 in the Dutch North Sea, one in the British and one in the German North Sea. The wholly owned BASF subsidiary has been active in the region since 1965. Wintershall controls 19 of these platforms from Den Helder, Netherlands, with one of the most modern radio surveillance and control systems in order to manage these operations efficiently. At the beginning of 2012, Wintershall launched tight gas production from the K18-Golf field in the Dutch North Sea. In October 2011, the company commissioned its first Wintershall-operated natural gas production facility in the British North Sea with the Wingate platform. With investments of more than 50 million euros in the Wingate project, Wintershall is also sending a positive signal about the future of exploration in the southern North Sea. Besides that Wintershall is also exploring in Denmark.

Wintershall Holding GmbH

Wintershall Holding GmbH, 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 80 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 40 nations and is now Germany's largest crude oil and natural gas producer.

Wintershall Noordzee B.V. The North Sea is one of the traditional core regions of Wintershall. The wholly owned BASF subsidiary has been active there since 1965. Wintershall is one of the largest producers of natural gas in the Netherlands and operates a total of 23 offshore installations there. To ensure the efficiency of its operations, Wintershall controls 17 of these Dutch platforms and one in Germany as well as the Wingate platform in the UK, operated by Wintershall, from Den Helder with a cutting-edge radio surveillance and control system.

Wintershall. Shaping the Future.

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