Wintershall says sticks with gas ventures with Gazprom
ESSEN, Germany Feb 9 (Reuters) - Wintershall, the oil and gas unit of German chemicals group BASF, is holding on to all the activities it shares with Russia's Gazprom , despite having given up a planned gas assets swap deal in light of geopolitical tensions, its chief executive said on Monday.
"Both sides will stick to familiar terrain and continue to work together in trust," Wintershall CEO Seele said at a conference.
Gas trading in Europe and gas production in Siberia will continue on the basis of joint ventures with Gazprom, he said.
Wintershall will continue to invest a planned 500 million euros ($565.60 million) in two existing gas field ventures, Achimgaz and Yuzhno Russkoye, in the period up to 2018.
Relations between Russia and Western countries have deteriorated rapidly over the conflict in Ukraine, which has led to sanctions on both sides and hurt Western companies with business interests in Russia.
The swap deal would have given Russia greater access to gas trading and storage in Germany, in return for Wintershall getting more stakes in Siberian gas fields.
Notwithstanding the faith in Russian activities, Wintershall would also step up investment in western Europe, South America and the Middle East, Seele said.
($1 = 0.8840 euros) (Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Maria Sheahan)
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