Wintershall Profit Jumps 48% on Norway Purchases, Russia Gas

Wintershall Holding GmbH, Germany’s largest oil and gas producer, said annual profit rose 48 percent as acquisitions added to revenue and Russian output increased.

Net income climbed to 1.78 billion euros ($2.48 billion) in 2013 from 1.2 billion euros a year earlier, the Kassel-based company said today in a statement. Sales advanced 16 percent to 14.8 billion euros.

Wintershall, a unit of the world’s biggest chemical maker BASF SE, has expanded by purchasing fields in Norway including Brage and Vega. Its oil and gas production in the Nordic country surged to 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day last year from 3,000 barrels a day, while Russian natural-gas production also “accelerated,” the company said, without specifying volumes.

We “want to continue growing while adding value,” Chief Executive Officer Rainer Seele said in the statement.

Wintershall also said it has agreed to cooperate with BP Plc on exploration and production in North Africa. The German company will work on current BP projects as well as new ventures in the region, Seele told reporters in Kassel, declining to elaborate.

The arrangement with BP is “interesting,” Markus Mayer, an analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux, said by phone from Frankfurt. “Wintershall is BASF’s cash cow. That’s why the market doesn’t see it as negative if the exposure in this area increases.”

Production Outlook

Wintershall’s proven oil and gas deposits increased by more than 20 percent last year to 1.46 billion barrels, according to today’s statement. The company produced 132 million barrels of oil equivalent, unchanged from a year earlier, and plans to pump more than 160 million barrels a year by 2015.

To that end, Wintershall will spend 4 billion euros in five years to expand its oil and gas business in Norway and Russia.

BASF agreed in 2012 to transfer its gas-trading unit to Russia’s OAO Gazprom in return for stakes in two Siberian oilfields. More than half of Ludwigshafen-based BASF’s fuel will come from Russia once those fields go on stream from 2016.

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