Wintershall Opens Office Norway

The aim of Wintershall AG to expand its exploration and production activities from the southern sector of the North Sea to the northern sector is now also reflected in the organization of the largest German oil and natural gas producer: Today, Monday April 3, 2006, the office of the Norwegian subsidiary Wintershall Norge A.S. was opened in Oslo. "We want to extend our portfolio in this extremely important region," explains Bernard Schmidt, the member of the Board of Wintershall responsible for Exploration and Development. Wintershall Norge A.S. was established late last year.

Norway is the fourth largest European producer of natural gas and one of the most important supplying countries for the European Union. "With its proximity to the European market, Norway is predestined to supply Europe with natural gas and is thus a production site which fits very well into our "Gas for Europe" strategy," adds Schmidt "And the company's office enables us to coordinate our activities there better." Eckard Oehms has been appointed head of the subsidiary.

In 2004 the Norwegian Energy Ministry granted Wintershall the right to commence activities as an operator and licensee in Norway. On the basis of this the 100% BASF subsidiary then started operations – in Norway Wintershall cooperates with Hydro and the Danish Maersk Oil. Last year a farm-in contract in the offshore license PL353 was signed with the second largest Norwegian oil producer Hydro. Furthermore, through an invitation to bid Wintershall also obtained 20% shares in each of the licenses PL355 and PL385 from the Norwegian government.

Wintershall AG, which has its registered office in Kassel, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BASF AG in Ludwigshafen. The company has been active in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas for over 75 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 area. Today, the company is Germany's largest crude oil and natural gas producer.