20 Jun 2019 11:32

As regards appetite for new projects with Gazprom Neft, Wintershall Dea CEO likes Achimov deposits

ST. PETERSBURG. June 20 (Interfax) - Germany's Wintershall Dea is not prepared to comment at this point on the prospects of its participation in new upstream projects in Russia with the Gazprom Group, but it is sending clear signals about what it expects from its Russian partners.

Firstly, the company is happy with the experience of participating in the development of Achimov deposits in Russia and, secondly, new projects with launch dates after 2025 would help maintain the company's production in Russia.

Gazprom Neft first deputy CEO Vadim Yakovlev said earlier that the oil company has signed an operator contract with Gazprom to develop Achimov deposits at the Yamburg field. Gazprom Neft might bring European partners, including German, with experience working on Achimov deposits in Russia, into the project.

Wintershall Dea CEO Mario Mehren told Interfax on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum earlier this month that his company is discussing many subjects with Gazprom Neft, including digitization and scientific and technical cooperation and, if within this context opportunities arise for joint development of assets, they will certainly be discussed as well.

Mehren said the companies have a good dialog, but that he could not comment or confirm anything at the time, though he added that he likes Achimov deposits.

As a shareholder of Severneftegazprom, Wintershall Dea is implementing a project to develop the Yuzhno-Russkoye field and is beginning to develop its Turonian horizon, and the company and its partner Gazprom are building field infrastructure at sections 4A and 5A of the Achimov deposits at Urengoi, Mehren said, adding that they have a very good forecast for production volumes for 2023-2024.

Wintershall Dea is also open to new projects that might be launched starting 2025, he said.

The company is discussing opportunities with Gazprom Neft in Russia and they always share information and views on regions throughout the world, he said.

Following the completion of Wintershall's merger with DEA, the management of the combined company is working on a new strategy, and in the process of this work it must also determine how to optimize the company's portfolio, Mehren said.

Wintershall Dea's strategy is foremost aimed at growth, not selling assets, and in the next few years it plans to grow by at least 6%-8% annually and ramp up average daily production to 800,000 barrels per day by 2023 from almost 600,000 bpd at present, Mehren said.