RWE Dea Steps Up Natural Gas Production

RWE Dea has plans to double its hydrocarbon production over the next six years to amount to 13 – 14 million cubic meters of oil equivalent (OE) by the year 2013. In the process, the share of gas production is to rise sharply, while oil production is to be maintained at least at the same level. "To be able to achieve these ambitious goals, we will need to boost our capital spending on development activities to about 800 million euros per annum over the next five years.

For exploration activities, we plan to spend a further 200 million euros per annum" explained RWE Dea's CEO, Dr. Georg Schöning, at today's press conference in London. The company will drill 73 wells in 2007. This high level of activity will be maintained in the years to come.

The increase in the production volume is to be achieved by active field development of the proven resources. Northern and eastern Europe/CIS, central and western Europe as well as North Africa and the Middle East remain the core regions of RWE Dea. Thomas Rappuhn, Chief of Operations, emphasized the recent successes and growth potential in North Africa. "It was particularly due to our strikes encountered in Egypt and Algeria that we have managed to increase the level of verified resources in these countries to 84.5 million cubic meters oil equivalent out of 170 million cubic meters oil equivalent for the whole company at the end of 2006." The successful exploration work in Libya already achieved by the Company with its first wells drilled is also reported to be a significant growth factor. According to Rappuhn, RWE Dea is furthermore in the process of evaluating projects in CIS countries. He indicated that states like Russia, Ukraine as well as the Caspian region were in the focus of interest.

In the United Kingdom, natural gas production in the North Sea has been continually boosted to a current level of 3.8 million cubic meters of gas per day. A substantial increase was recently achieved following the start of production from the Cavendish natural gas field. The initial production volume from the first well is 1.6 million cubic meters of gas per day. "In developing the Cavendish field, as operator we acquired important expertise that will be useful to us for forthcoming projects", emphasizes Christoph Schlichter, Managing Director of RWE Dea UK. "We will continue our investment program in the region of the southern British North Sea". RWE Dea UK is targeting an annual production level of 1.5 billion cubic meters oil equivalent.

Development of the Cavendish field is being carried out with an unmanned platform connected via a newly laid 10-inch pipeline 47 kilometers in length to the Caister-Murdoch-System (CMS) operated by ConocoPhillips. From there, the gas is transported onward to the gas terminal located in Theddlethorpe (UK).

The production launch from the Cavendish field is an important step in focusing the activities of RWE Dea more strongly in the direction of exploration and production of natural gas. Part of the strategy of the RWE Group, the enterprise is preparing for this attractive market with a good future.