Wintershall raises share in Maria discovery to 50 percent

Rapid development of discovery sets tone of Norwegian activities/ Focus on swift oil production

Kassel / Stavanger, (PresseBox) - Wintershall, the largest German crude oil and natural gas producer with operations worldwide, has once again stepped up its activities in Norway by raising the company's share in the Maria discovery to 50 percent, the company announced. The discovery is one of the largest oil discoveries in Norway in recent years and is situated around 200 kilometers off the coast of Trondheim. Agreements to this effect have been signed between Wintershall Norge ASA and Spring Energy AS and between Wintershall Norge ASA and Concedo ASA. According to the agreements, Wintershall will acquire a 15 percent share from Spring Energy and a 10 percent share from Concedo in the Maria discovery. With this acquisition, the BASF subsidiary Wintershall is increasing its shares in the licenses PL 475 BS, PL 475 CS and PL 475. Wintershall is the operator of the discovery and is driving forward the development of the discovery. The discovery is estimated to have from 60 to 120 million barrels of recoverable oil and 2 to 5 billion standard cubic meters (sm3) of recoverable gas. Wintershall is planning to drill an appraisal well before the end of the year to lay down an optimal development concept for the Maria discovery. Wintershall Norge ASA is now one of the largest license-holders in Norway with over 40 licenses of which it holds the operatorship in about 20.

Investments in the optimal development

"The increase in our share of the Maria discovery fits in perfectly with our long-term strategy to become one of the most important producing operators on the Norwegian continental shelf," Martin Bachmann, Member of the Wintershall Board of Executive Directors and responsible for Exploration and Production, explained. "By increasing its working interest, Wintershall is not only underlining its readiness to invest in Norway, it also shows the confidence we have in this project," the Wintershall Board Member emphasized. "Once we have carefully examined the development options, we will vigorously pursue the development of the discovery," Bachmann said. "The transaction reflects our strong commitment to make Norway a core region for Wintershall. At the same time we are moving our successful exploration portfolio towards development and production", Bernd Schrimpf, Managing Director of Wintershall Norge ASA, added.

The Maria discovery

The Maria exploration well discovered hydrocarbons in the summer of 2010 after Wintershall was awarded the production licenses PL 475 BS and PL 475 CS in the APA 2008 and APA 2010 licensing rounds. The Maria discovery in the Garn formation is located in a large horst area from the Jurassic period stretching from the north-east to the south-west. The Garn formation provides a reservoir for several fields in central Norway.

Shareholder structure

The partners' working interests are as follows (subject to the approval of the authorities responsible):

Licenses PL 475BS and PL 475CS:
Wintershall Norge ASA 50% (operator)
Petoro AS 30%
Centrica Resources (Norge) AS 20%

License PL 475:
Wintershall Norge ASA 50% (operator)
Faroe Petroleum Norge AS 30%
Centrica Resources (Norge) AS 20%

The contract parties have agreed to maintain confidentiality on the value of the transaction.

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 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. In addition, these operations are complemented by the company's growing exploration activities in the Arabian Gulf. 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.

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