Wintershall Wins New Exploration Licenses in Argentina

Wintershall is stepping up its activities in Argentina: the wholly owned BASF subsidiary has been awarded two exploration licenses in the Canadon Asfalto Basin in Central Argentina after successfully bidding in the international licensing round E-01/92 "Plan Argentina". A contract for the areas CCA-1 (Gan-Gan) and CGSJ-V/A in the province of Chubut was signed to this effect. Wintershall Energia S.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of Wintershall Holding AG in Kassel, will have a 50 percent share and will be the operating company. Repsol YPF is the other consortium partner. The two blocks have a surface area measuring around 20,000 square kilometers. First preliminary geological and geophysical studies were already completed for this area between 2002 and 2004. 2-D seismic surveys to define the parameters of future drilling projects are planned for the next three years.

"By acquiring and operating the new blocks in the Canadon Asfalto Basin we are enlarging our portfolio in the core region South America", explained Dr. Ties Tiessen, Member of the Board of Executive Directors of Wintershall Holding AG responsible for production. Wintershall has already invested more than 900 million US dollars in Argentina. In addition, Germany's largest producer of crude oil and natural gas is planning further investments of 250 million US dollars in Argentina over the next five years.

Active in Argentina for thirty years

Wintershall's activities in Argentina go back to 1978. With interests in 13 concessions, it is one of the country's biggest producers of natural gas. Off the coast of Tierra del Fuego – an area which is among the most promising hydrocarbon reserves in Argentina – Wintershall produces from the Carina and Aries natural gas fields together with French company Total and PanAmerican Energy (PAE). This is the largest Argentinean offshore gas production project to date. By 2027 these two fields are expected to produce a total of 56 billion cubic meters of natural gas, 3.4 million tones of condensate and 2.4 million tones of LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas). Wintershall's subsidiary Wintershall Energia has a 37.5 percent interest in this venture.

Another major project of Wintershall in Argentina is the ongoing development of the Aguada Pichana concession in the Neuquen Basin (Central Argentina). One project among others is a tight gas research project to provide information on the spreading patterns of artificially created cracks, so-called fracs. The aim of this project is to make gas from parts of the deposit with low permeability commercially recoverable.

The company is also stepping up its activities in the San Roque concession, which also lies in the Neuquen Basin, with the development of the Rincon Chico field, amongst others.