Wintershall Sees Rising Earnings, Sales as Output Increases

FRANKFURT - German crude oil and natural gas producer Wintershall AG said Tuesday it expects rising output and stable commodity prices to drive earnings and sales higher in 2013, following a 9% increase in net profit for 2012 due to rising production levels.

"The goal is to increase Wintershall's sales and earnings once again in 2013," said Chief Executive Rainer Seele in a written statement, adding that crude oil prices are expected to remain at around last year's level.

"We are anticipating a yearly average for the oil price of $110 [per barrel) and an exchange rate of $1.30 to the euro," Mr. Seele said.

The unit of German chemicals giant BASF SE also said it expects output to increase by around 11% to 160 million barrels of oil equivalent by 2015 compared with the 144 million barrels of oil equivalent produced last year.

In 2012, Wintershall agreed to sell its gas trading and storage business to Russia's Gazprom OAO in an asset swap that gave it access to further gas production fields in Siberia.

It also expanded production in Norway and the Middle East and Tuesday said it will continue to expand output in coming years.

"We will continue to grow, organically and with targeted acquisitions," said Mr. Seele.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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