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    Wintershall Dea Ends 2020 with Record Output


The German company made production gains in Russia and north Europe.

by: Joe Murphy

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Wintershall Dea Ends 2020 with Record Output

Wintershall Dea produced a record 654,000 barrels of oil equivalent/day in the fourth quarter, the German gas producer reported on February 24, on the back of higher output in northern Europe and Russia, which more than offset cutbacks in Argentina, Egypt and Mexico.

Full-year production averaged 623,000 boe/d, including 446,000 boe/d of gas and 177,000 boe/d of liquids, up from 617,000 boe/d in 2019. Russia accounted for 295,000 boe/d of supply, up from 289,000 boe/d in the previous year. Wintershall Dea is on track for further growth in the country, after kicking off production at the 4A deep gas project at Western Siberia's Urengoy field in January with its partner Gazprom.

Output in north Europe increased to 206,000 from 201,000 boe/d, while Middle East and North Africa supply fell to 48,000 from 51,000 boe/d and Latin American production to 74,000 from 76,000 boe/d.

Wintershall Dea's Ebitdax was down 41% in 2020 at €1.64bn ($2bn), and down 23% year on year in Q4 at €500mn. This marked a 25% improvement from Q3 2020, however. Adjusted net income surged 80% yr/yr to €128mn in Q4, while free cash flow reached €278mn, versus negative €248mn in Q4 2019.

Net debt was down 4% yr/yr at €5.52bn in Q4, but leverage increased to 3.4 from 2.1, and production costs rose 19% to €3.7/boe. Capital expenditure amounted to €295mn, down 31% yr/yr.

Wintershall Dea CEO Mario Mehren said the company had managed to reach its production targets despite the difficulties last year presented.

"Looking ahead, 2021 will certainly be a year with continued high levels of uncertainty as well as volatility, and while we remain cautious, we look forward to an exciting year," he said.