On 7 December 2017, BASF and LetterOne signed a letter of intent to merge their respective oil and gas businesses in a joint venture, which would operate under the name Wintershall DEA. The oil and gas business of BASF is bundled in the Wintershall Group consisting of Wintershall Holding GmbH and its subsidiaries, including the gas transportation business. The oil and gas business of LetterOne comprises DEA Deutsche Erdöl AG and its subsidiaries.
In March 2015, DEA – formerly part of RWE AG – was acquired by LetterOne. DEA has interest in production facilities and concessions in Germany, Norway, Denmark, Egypt, Algeria and Mexico. Subsequent to this purchase, LetterOne, through a forced sale instigated by the UK government, sold the UK assets held in DEA to INEOS.
BASF’s oil and gas activities are held in the Wintershall Group. Wintershall focuses on exploration and production in oil and gas-rich regions in Europe, North Africa, Russia, South America and the Middle East. Through a swap arrangement consummated in September 2015, Gazprom acquired a 50% interest in the activities of the Wintershall Noordzee BV subsidiary, which is active in exploration and production in the southern North Sea (Netherlands, UK and Denmark).
Figure 2: Wintershall & DEA net acreage by country