BASF's Wintershall to expand Mideast exploration despite turmoil

31 March 2011 16:03  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--BASF will expand its oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) in the Middle East, despite the ongoing turmoil in Libya, Bahrain and elsewhere in the region, the CEO of BASF’s Wintershall energy unit said on Thursday.

“We are staying in the Middle East region and continue to vigorously pursue our E&P projects,” Rainer Seele said.

But Seele added that Wintershall is “monitoring developments in Libya with great concern”.

The company suspended and sealed off its production operations in the Libya at the end of February for safety reasons. It has produced no oil there since then.

“It is difficult at the moment to gauge developments in Libya,” Seele said.

For the time being, questions of whether, when and how oil production in Libya can be resumed is “still completely open”, he added.

In addition to Libya, Wintershall is also working on project in Qatar and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

As Germany’s largest crude oil and natural gas producer, Wintershall is in competition with emerging countries that have high growth rates and are “developing enormous appetites for energy and raw materials”, Seele said.

Securing raw materials will become one of the key tasks of the future,” he said.

Recent developments will increase competition for energy raw materials even more, and the upheaval in the Arab world as well as the catastrophe in Japan will not be without consequences for the global energy balance of the future,” he added.

For more on BASF and other producers, visit ICIS company intelligence

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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