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01.10.2013

Wintershall takes over Brage operatorship and becomes production operator in NorwayFirst own-operated production platform for Wintershall Norge AS / Norway: 240 new Wintershall employees in 2013

Stavanger/Bergen. Wintershall Norge is today taking over the operatorship of the Brage oil field on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) from Statoil. The Brage platform off Bergen is the first major production platform operated by Wintershall Norge. Since the transfer of equity in the fields Brage, Gjøa and Vega to the wholly owned BASF subsidiary at the end of July as part of the asset swap with Statoil, Wintershall Norge has raised its daily production from 3,000 boe to 40,000 boe. The asset swap thus turned Wintershall into a major producer on the NCS. With the operatorship of Brage, Wintershall now executes the complete E&P lifecycle in Norway: from exploration, drilling and the development of oil and gas discoveries to production.

“We are taking over an excellent operation that Statoil has operated for 20 years. We are proud to be the chosen partner of Statoil to become an integral part of Norway’s oil production history at all levels. For the first time the Norwegian major has transferred a producing asset and manned installation to a new operator. Here I will pay tribute to the professionalism of Statoil in the commercial negotiation phase and for the cooperation and generous support in the preparation for the actual transfer,” said Martin Bachmann, Member of the Wintershall Board of Executive Directors responsible for Exploration and Production. “Taking over the Brage operatorship is a key element in our growth strategy. At the same time we have developed into a full service oil and gas company in Norway,” Bachmann said.

Yesterday (September 30), Bernd Schrimpf, Managing Director of Wintershall Norge, and Øystein Håland, Statoil, Senior Vice President Operation West, Development & Production Norway   signed the Main Transfer Protocol marking today’s completion of the process to transfer the operatorship of Brage from Statoil to Wintershall.

Long-term commitment in Norway

Taking over the operatorship of Brage is a huge step for Wintershall Norge. “We are in sight of our daily production target of 50,000 barrels. The Wintershall Norge team has once again proven that we can make things happen, and that we deliver on our promises,” said Bernd Schrimpf. At the same time, the company is pushing ahead with the development projects Maria, Knarr and Edvard Grieg as well as with its latest discovery Skarfjell. Furthermore Wintershall is active in the research of Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) together with its Norwegian partner Statoil: the companies have agreed on joint study projects to extend the lifetime of producing reservoirs and to increase field recovery rates.

Recruitment success

To guarantee the safe and stable operations of the Brage platform, Wintershall Norge has recruited 180 employees. The total number of this year’s new employees in Norway amounts to 240 – almost doubling the Wintershall workforce in the course of one year. “We have received over 7,000 applications from people who want to work for us,” said Schrimpf. “We are happy that most of Statoil’s Brage personnel decided to join us. This ensures that we keep the best knowledge and experience on board. On top of safeguarding the continuity in operatorship, we also gather experience in operating future fields.” Overall, Wintershall now employs more than 500 staff from 18 different nations in Norway with a female share of almost 40 percent. From now on all Brage activities will be coordinated from the new office in Bergen (Espehaugen), which is only a few minutes from the airport and the heliport.

Wintershall Holding GmbH, based in Kassel, Germany, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BASF SE, headquartered 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 2,500 staff worldwide from 40 nations and is now Germany’s largest crude oil and natural gas producer.

Wintershall. Shaping the future.

Contact: Stefan Leunig