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Gas de France to acquire Germany's Preussag Energie

By an OGJ correspondent

PARIS, Dec. 27 -- Gas de France will acquire Lingen, Germany-based Preussag Energie GMBH, an affiliate of TUI AG, for nearly one billion euros. TUI said it is selling the unit to refocus on its tourist business.

The acquired assets include hydrocarbon reserves located in Germany's North West basin estimated at some 25 billion cu m of natural gas and 50 million bbl of oil. Preussag Energie's plateau production currently hovers at 1.4 billion cu m (bcm)/year of gas and 4 million bbl/year of oil. GdF's purchase raises its own production of natural gas by nearly 50% to 4.6 bcm/year.

The acquired Preussag Energie assets also include an 11% stake in gas transportation and marketing company Erdgas Münster, which owns a 2000 km network in the northwestern part of Germany; a 50% stake in the Reitbrook underground storage facility near Hamburg; a 33% stake in the Schmidhausen storage facility near Munich; and 100% of the Fronhofen storage facility near Stuttgart.

GdF's full share of gas storage capacity being acquired totals close to 300 million cu m. In addition, GdF also will assume operation of the Lehrte storage facility near Hanover.

GdF's acquisition brings the company nearer to its target of producing, in the short term, 15% of the natural gas it sells, the company said, adding that so far, it has reached a 9% level.

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