Gazprom to take full control of Germany’s natural gas company WINGAS
Russian natural gas producer Gazprom will take full control of Germany's trading and supply company WINGAS via an asset swap with BASF by the end of 2013, the companies announced on Wednesday.
WINGAS is currently a 50:50 joint venture of BASF-subsidiary Wintershall and Gazprom, and holds a 20% market share in Germany in terms of supplied gas volumes.
On Wednesday, BASF and Gazprom signed an agreement to swap assets of equivalent value. Apart from BASF's 50% share in WINGAS, Gazprom will also take full control of trading companies WIEH (Wintershall Erdgashandelshaus Berlin), WIEE (Wintershall Erdgashandelshaus Zug) and WINGAS's storage subsidiary, astora.
The Russian incumbent will thereby also take control of Europe's largest underground gas-storage facility, Rehden - with more than 4 billion cubic metres (Gm³) of capacity - and take over WINGAS' share in the under-construction Jemgum facility in Germany, which is a joint venture with EWE. Gazprom will also increase its share in the Haidach site in Austria.
This move is in line with Gazprom's plans to double its storage capacity in Europe to an estimated 5 billion cubic metres by 2015 (see ESGM 10 February 2012).
Gazprom will also receive a 50% share in the activities of Wintershall Noordzee, which is active in the exploration and production of oil and gas in the southern North Sea.
In exchange, Wintershall is to receive 25% plus one share of the blocks IV and V in the Achimov formation of the Urengoi field, including the option to increase the share in the two gas and condensate deposits to 50%. A total annual plateau production of at least 8Gm³ of gas is expected from the two blocks, which are scheduled to start production from 2016.
The deal remains subject to the approval by the relevant authorities. Once concluded, it will retroactively apply from 1 April 2013, the companies said. JR
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