MOSCOW, November 14 (RIA Novosti) – Russian energy giant Gazprom and Germany’s BASF have signed a basic agreement on an asset swap as part of a project for joint development of the Achimov deposits in Western Siberia, the companies said on Wednesday.
The legally binding basic agreement to swap assets of equivalent value was signed by Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and Chairman of the BASF Board of Directors Kurt Bock. A final agreement is expected to be made in 2013.
Under the deal, Wintershall, the wholly-owned oil and gas subsidiary of BASF, will receive 25 percent plus one share in the new joint venture on developing blocks IV and V in the Achimov deposits of the Urengoy field with the option of increasing the share in the two gas and condensate deposits to 50 percent
Blocks IV and V have total hydrocarbon resources of 274 billion cubic meters of natural gas and 74 million metric tons of condensate, which is equivalent to a total of 2.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent. Production is expected to begin in 2016.
In return, Wintershall will transfer the currently jointly-operated natural gas trading and storage business to Gazprom, which will receive a 50 percent stake in Wintershall Noordzee B.V., which runs natural gas exploration and production projects in the North Sea, and increase its stakes in gas trading and storage companies of Wingas Group, and also in WIEH and WIEE (Wintershall Erdgas Handelshaus) to 100 percent.
“By increasing stakes in gas trading and storage companies we will continue our successful joint efforts on securing reliable gas supplies to Europe. The agreements reached in gas exploration and production projects expand the geographic reach of our mutual activities that started from production projects in Russia,” Miller said.
“The asset swap deal is consistent with our strategy to expand the extraction and production of crude oil and natural gas through organic growth and targeted acquisitions,” Bock said.