Wintershall Dea appoints leadership in Argentina, Deutschland and Norway

Photo: Manfred Böckmann, managing director, Wintershall Energia (soon to be Wintershall Dea Argentina). Credit Wintershall Dea/Ludwig Schöpfer.

Buenos Aires --With the Wintershall and DEA merger, there have been a few major leadership appointments. There are also planned synergies as the two companies look for efficiencies.

Change of leadership at Wintershall Energía (soon to be Wintershall Dea Argentina): Manfred Böckmann took over the position of managing director in Argentina as of  May 1, 2019. On 1 May 2019, the two German companies Wintershall Holding GmbH (Wintershall) and DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG (DEA) completed their international merger to form Wintershall Dea. The wholly owned subsidiary Wintershall Dea Argentina will be responsible for all previous Wintershall activities in the country. DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG was previously not active in Argentina.

Manfred Böckmann has been working for DEA, formerly RWE Dea, in various roles since 1997, and has extensive experience in the E&P sector – both nationally and internationally. Among others, the geophysicist was responsible as general manager for the New Ventures division in North Africa, the Middle East and Latin America from 2009 to 2014. He has been senior V.P. exploration at DEA since 2014.

Böckmann takes over from Mariano Cancelo, head of joint ventures & austral assets at Wintershall Energía, who has temporarily managed the business for the past months and is now returning to his former position.

As Europe's largest independent gas and oil producer, Wintershall Dea has been successfully active in Argentina for over 40 years. Here, the company produces hydrocarbons, in particular natural gas, and is the country's fourth-largest gas producer. Its activities are concentrated in the central Argentine provinces of Neuquén and Mendoza and in the south off the coast of Tierra del Fuego. The wholly owned subsidiary Wintershall Dea Argentina currently holds interests in a total of 15 gas and oil fields in Argentina and produces around 26 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per year.

Operator in the Vaca Muerta Formation

Wintershall Dea has been active in the conventional production of natural gas and crude oil in the province of Neuquén for more than 20 years and is familiar with the geology. Wintershall Dea has interests in the Aguada Federal, Bandurria Norte, Aguada Pichana Este and San Roque blocks. Wintershall Dea is applying this knowledge in developing the blocks in the attractive Vaca Muerta Formation. Shale gas or shale oil projects are currently being conducted in all blocks.

The exploration and production of unconventional reserves involves major technological challenges.

Wintershall Dea has decades of experience in environmentally compatible, efficient production from complex reservoirs and, thanks to its special technological expertise, is ideally positioned to master these challenges.

Photo: Dirk Warzecha, head of Wintershall Dea Deutschland.

In addition, Dirk Warzecha became head of the Wintershall Dea Business Unit in Germany on May 1, 2019.

Dirk Warzecha has worked in various roles at DEA since 2003 and as a member of the board of management and COO since 2013. The petroleum engineering graduate contributes extensive experience in natural gas and crude oil production acquired from various positions – both nationally and internationally. He was responsible for DEA’s activities in Egypt (2011-2012) and Manager of DEA’s Holstein Production District (Germany, 2010-2011), Reservoir Development (2008-2010) and Field Development in North Africa (2007-2008).

Dirk Warzecha is taking over from Mario Dreier, previously head of Wintershall’s activities in Germany, and Uwe Balasus-Lange, previously Head of DEA’s German activities. Mario Dreier will in future be responsible as district manager for Wintershall Dea Deutschland’s crude oil production at

Mittelplate/Dieksand in Schleswig-Holstein. Uwe Balasus-Lange will take over the functional unit “Global Production and Operational Excellence” at corporate level.

Domestic production steeped in a rich tradition
Wintershall and DEA can look back on a long history in Germany. Both companies were founded here more than 120 years ago and have already worked together for many decades as partners in several projects. Since 1985, Wintershall and DEA have jointly been developing Mittelplate, Germany’s biggest crude oil field in Schleswig-Holstein’s Wadden Sea. The project has set international standards for environmentally friendly and safe oil production in ecologically sensitive areas. Wintershall Dea also holds further licences for crude oil production in Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate and Bavaria. Another key focus of the German activities is on the production of natural gas.

Both companies have licenses for this in Lower Saxony and Bavaria. The Barnstorf location (Diepholz district) in Lower Saxony will in the future be the technology service center including the global core storage and vocational training location.

The merger between Wintershall and DEA offers both companies with their rich tradition the chance to respond to the challenges of a mature portfolio and, in doing so, extend the economic viability of domestic production. Wintershall Dea will continuously work on further developing production processes that conserve resources. “With the knowledge we acquire in development and production in Germany, we are successfully positioning ourselves in the world’s producing regions”, said Warzecha.

Photo: Alv Bjørn Solheim, managing director, Wintershall Dea Norge. Credit Wintershall Dea/Ludwig Schöpfer.

Also, Alv Bjørn Solheim became head of the Business Unit Norway of Wintershall Dea and as such Managing Director of Wintershall Norge and DEA Norge on May 1, 2019. Solheim will take the role as managing director in the merged company to be named Wintershall Dea Norge AS.

Alv Bjørn Solheim succeeds Jon Sandnes, managing director of DEA Norge, and Hugo Dijkgraaf, who has headed Wintershall Norge. Solheim has worked for Wintershall since 2012, and most recently served as technical director and deputy managing director at Wintershall Norge.

“I look forward to working as managing director with our talented and dedicated employees to shape the future. Wintershall Dea has excellent growth opportunities in Norway. The two companies with extensive experience have joined forces to form the leading independent European gas and oil company – and one of the largest producers on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. In the coming years Wintershall Dea Norge aims to produce more than 200,000 boed. To achieve this, we will transfer our major projects Nova and Dvalin into production,” says Solheim.

Over the past seven years, the Norwegian has held various management positions at Wintershall in Norway. Prior to that, Solheim spent fifteen years at Equinor, working in various management positions. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Microprosessor Technology and a Master's degree in Strategy and Leadership.

Wintershall Dea will be the 3rd largest gas producers on the Norwegian Continental Shelf
After the merger between Wintershall Norge and DEA Norge is completed, Wintershall Dea Norge will become the fifth largest player in terms of net total production.

With its headquarter in Stavanger and an office in Bergen, Wintershall Dea Norge will pursue a clear growth strategy in Norway and is set to expand its position on the shelf. With an active exploration strategy and the goal of long-term growth¬ in Norway, the merged company will constantly expand its license portfolio. Together Wintershall Norge and DEA Norge currently hold more than 100 licenses in Norway. At the last APA round in 2018 (APA: Awards in Predefined Areas), the two companies received a total of 15 new exploration licenses – five of them as operator. The future Wintershall Dea Norge is the operator of three producing fields, Brage, Vega and Maria, and is also the operator of the Nova and Dvalin fields which are in the development phase.

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