German firm buys shares in North Sea oil, gas

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's Wintershall says it is buying shares in North Sea oil and gas fields from Norwegian company Statoil for $1.25 billion.

Wintershall, a subsidiary of BASF SE, said Friday that the transaction is expected to close by the end of the year. The deal includes shares in two production fields, a pipeline project and four exploration licenses.

Wintershall board chairman Rainer Seele says the company wants to become one of the leading oil and gas companies in Norway and adds that "with domestic production in Europe we are strengthening the European supply security."

Norway, along with Russia, is a key supplier of gas to Europe.