Wintershall CEO Mario Mehren has claimed that the German oil company will continue to grow, even if its planned merger with DEA does not go through.
Announcing its annual results at a press conference in Kassel,Wintershall said it is expects a record level of production in 2018, having reached 165 million barrels of oil in 2017, thanks to projects in key areas such as the Norwegian North Sea.
The firm also expects a significant rise in sales and earnings before special items.
Profits after taxes reached 719 million euros (£644million), up from 362 million euros in 2016 (£324million).
Wintershall’s planning for 2018 is based on a $65 per barrel oil price.
Mr Mehren said: “We expect a considerable increase in sales and EBIT before special items, driven by positive price effects and the start of production at fields in Norway in particular.”
The BASF subsidiary is planning to merge with Letter One’s DEA in the second half of the year, creating “one of the largest” independent exploration and production companies in Europe, with a heavy North Sea presence.
Combining with DEA will form a company that will produce around 215 million boe annually, according to Wintersahll, around 60,000 boe per day.
Three quarters of the production would come from Wintershall.
Mr Mehren said: “The portfolios of the two companies complement each other perfectly. We could further strengthen our European production and expand our production regions in South America and North Africa.
“That would create one of the largest independent E&P companies – a key player in Germany and Europe.
“Size means a more prominent profile in the competition for resources.”
On how the merger may affect the logistics of the business, Mehren would not be drawn into the details, saying “nothing has been decided”.
“We have our headquarters in Kassel, there’s are in Hamburg. We are just analysing the situation in the phase of due diligence.
“Following that we will have an integration concept and at that point we can discuss the detail.
“We may need to cut jobs or add new ones, depending on what Wintershall DEA will need.”
Wintershall started its first own-operated project with Maria in Norway last year.
It is also looking ahead to production starting in the Nova area, and with Aasta Hansteen, which it holds a 24% stake in.