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It’s tapped!Wintershall expands longstanding oil production in Bavaria.

Munich. “O’zapft is!”, which is Bavarian for the beer barrel “is tapped!”, is the traditional motto that marks the opening of the Oktoberfest. This time it is also being used to mark Wintershall’s expansion of its longstanding oil production in Bavaria. Right in time for the start of the Oktoberfest, Wintershall has completed two test drillings in Allgäu. The drilling is expected to show whether it is worthwhile reviving the longstanding oil production in the region after a gap of several decades. The results of the two test drillings in Lauben and neighbouring Bedernau will undergo examination until the end of the year. Then it will be decided whether Wintershall shall once again produce oil in Allgäu from 2016. The company is investing several million euros in searching for oil in Bedernau and Lauben in order to expand its longstanding oil production in Bavaria.  

Both Bedernau and the Lauben oil field belong to a “pearl chain” of older reservoirs in the foothills of the Alps. For example, Bedernau is located in what was once the most important oil field in Bavaria, the Arlesried field. Here Wintershall produced almost two million tonnes of oil within three decades. Wintershall discontinued production in the mid-1990s as a result of low oil prices.  Oil production in Lauben ceased in the 1980s. Geological investigations have now revealed new potential for both Bedernau and Lauben. The partner for Wintershall’s two exploration wells is Rhein Petroleum.

Domestic oil production is becoming increasingly important in the race for global energy resources. Although the production from domestic sources – which amounts to about 2.6 million tonnes of oil per year – “only” meets about three percent of domestic demand, that is nevertheless equivalent to the amount that Germany imports each year from Saudi Arabia and thus helps to secure supplies. “Crude oil from Bavaria not only contributes to the energy supply, it also has a high quality. That makes the production doubly worthwhile,” explains Rainer Ihl, head of Wintershall’s south German production facilities in Großaitingen near Augsburg

The drilling in their region has aroused considerable interest among Allgäu’s citizens. Wintershall has therefore invited local residents to visit the drilling rigs at both locations. More than 500 visitors attended the two guided tours. Wintershall is now publicising its longstanding oil production in Bavaria in time for the start of the Oktoberfest in Munich on Saturday. With its “O'zapft is!” advertising and poster campaign during the next few weeks, the company will be promoting the expansion of its longstanding oil production in Bavaria and the associated home advantage. 

“We believe it’s important to constantly highlight the importance that the longstanding oil production here has for us and the role played by oil in our everyday lives,” says Michael Sasse, Head of Corporate Communications at Wintershall. “With the “O’zapft is!” campaign we are establishing a nice tie-in to this theme.” That fits not only the Oktoberfest but also the oil production. “There is of course one difference: we don’t measure in litres but in barrels.” 

Wintershall Holding GmbH, based in Kassel, Germany, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BASF in Ludwigshafen. The company has been active in the extraction of natural resources for 120 years, and 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, Russia, North Africa, South America, and increasingly the Middle East region. The company wants to expand its business further with exploration and production, selected partnerships, innovation and technological competence. The company employs more than 2,500 staff worldwide from 40 nations and is now Germany’s largest crude oil and natural gas producer.

Wintershall Deutschland, which is based in Barnstorf in Lower Saxony, forms the centre of Wintershall’s exploration and production activities. This is where decisive know-how is developed on drilling and recovery technologies – including for international deployment. Since 1979, Wintershall has produced a total of 1.4 million tonnes of crude oil at its Großaitingen facility near Augsburg, which is the largest oil production facility in Bavaria.

Wintershall. Shaping the future.

Contact: Mark Krümpel