Illustration; Source: Wintershall Dea

Wintershall Dea closing its UAE chapter with exit from massive offshore sour gas project

Germany’s energy player Wintershall Dea has decided to divest its stake in a giant sour gas development off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Thailand’s PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (PTTEP). This sale is part of the German firm’s exit strategy from the UAE in preparation for its business combination with London-listed Harbour Energy.

Illustration; Source: Wintershall Dea

Following an agreement with PTTEP to sell its 10% participating interest in Abu Dhabi’s Ghasha concession, which is said to be the world’s largest offshore sour gas development, Wintershall Dea has confirmed that all the conditions required for closing, including regulatory approvals, have been fulfilled.

As part of broader company changes, this divestment follows the news in December 2023 that the company’s shareholders BASF and LetterOne signed a business combination agreement with Harbour Energy to transfer all of the German player’s E&P business, consisting of its production and development assets and exploration rights in Norway, Argentina, Germany, Mexico, Algeria, Libya (excluding Wintershall AG), Egypt and Denmark (excluding Ravn), as well as its carbon storage licenses.

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As Wintershall Dea’s stake in the Ghasha project was not part of the agreement with Harbour Energy, the firm took steps to sell it to PTTEP. In light of this, the German giant intends to end its operations in the UAE and close its office in Abu Dhabi in compliance with all contractual and legal regulations.

While the company’s activities in the UAE began in 2010 with the opening of a branch office, the award of a 10% participation interest in the Ghasha concession came in November 2018. This concession comprises multiple projects. 

Last year, ADNOC Group made a final investment decision (FID) and handed out a batch of contracts for the Hail and Ghasha offshore gas development, which aims to operate with net-zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, reinforcing the UAE player’s accelerated decarbonization agenda and supporting its net-zero by 2045 ambition and aspirations to double its carbon capture capacity target to 10 mtpa of CO2 by 2030.

This project is part of the Ghasha concession, a key component of ADNOC’s integrated gas masterplan and an important enabler of gas self-sufficiency for the United Arab Emirates, which is set to produce more than 1.5 billion standard cubic feet per day (bscfd) of gas before the end of the decade.

The Hail and Ghasha development design combines decarbonization technologies into one integrated solution, aiming to capture 1.5 million tonnes per year of CO2 taking ADNOC’s committed investment for carbon capture capacity to almost 4 mtpa.

The CO2 will be captured, transported onshore, and safely stored underground while low-carbon hydrogen is being produced, so that, it can replace gas and further reduce emissions. In addition, the project will leverage clean power from nuclear and renewable sources from the grid.