Wintershall Wins Exploration License in Middle East

Qatar North Field
(Click to Enlarge)

Wintershall is continuing to expand its activities in the Gulf region: the wholly owned BASF subsidiary has been awarded another exploration license in Qatar's territorial waters. An agreement for the exploration of Block 4N (Khuff) was signed today (November 17, 2008) in Doha with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry of Qatar, H.E. Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiya, on behalf of the national oil company Qatar Petroleum.

Germany's largest crude oil and natural gas producer, which is based in Kassel, will explore for gas in Block 4N (Khuff) offshore Qatar as operator and 100 percent license holder. The block is located close to the North Field, the largest natural gas field in the world and covers 544 km2 in water depths of 70 meters.

The existing seismic data will be reprocessed and interpreted and in the next two years Wintershall plans to acquire additional seismic data with the first two exploration wells to be drilled by 2010. Depending on the results of the intensive exploration campaign, Wintershall would develop a discovery through further drilling, and subsequently produce natural gas and condensate. The Block 4N (Khuff) Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement has a 25-year term.

"Having already received the license for Block 3 last year, we are now very pleased to be able to expand our exploration activities in this strategic region. Block 4N (Khuff) is a very promising exploration target and fits very nicely with our existing portfolio in Qatar," explained Reinier Zwitserloot, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Wintershall, at the signing ceremony of the agreement. "We are working very constructively and successfully with the Qatar government and the state oil company Qatar Petroleum. This success represents a milestone in our engagement in Qatar and the entire Middle East," Zwitserloot underlined.

Wintershall Already Operates in Two Neighbouring Blocks

Wintershall took over as operator of offshore Block 11 in Qatar in 2000. Today, the block is operated by Wintershall (41%) in partnership with the US company Anadarko Qatar Block 11 Company (29.5%) and Cosmo Energy Exploration and Development Ltd of Japan with 29.5%. Offshore Block 11 is located north-east of the Qatar coast in the direct vicinity of Block 4N.

Since 2007, Wintershall has also been exploring Block 3 as operator with a 40% participation. The other partners in this block are Cosmo Energy Exploration and Development Ltd, which holds 35%, and Indonesia's PT Pertamina (Persero) with 25%. Seismic surveys are planned to be conducted in the area, which covers 1,666 km2. Two exploration wells are planned in 2010.


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