Wintershall Dea has sold off its stake in Russian oil-producing venture Wolgodeminoil, a company billed by the seller as "the longest-standing joint venture for hydrocarbon production between a Russian and a Western European partner".

The German player said it pushed ahead with the deal to comply with its strategy of focusing on the development of gas and condensate assets in Russia in partnership with state-controlled gas monopoly Gazprom.

Future of Floating LNG Digital Event
Five years in, has FLNG lived up to its early promise? And what happens next? Find out at our next digital event.

About 70% of current assets under Wintershall Dea’s control in Europe and Russia are producing natural gas, which the Germany player sees as a key source in the ongoing energy transition to cleaner fuel usage.

Current local partner Ritek has taken control over Wintershall Dea’s 50% shareholding in Wolgodeminoil to become its sole operator, the German company said.

No value was put on the transaction.

Founded in 1992, a year after the break-up of the Soviet Union that had led to the privatisation of the country’s state oil industry, Wolgodeminoil was one of the first oil ventures with foreign investments.

The venture is currently producing oil at the rate of 5000 barrels per day at 12 fields, scattered in the Volgograd and Saratov regions in the central part of Russia.

Although the venture operates mostly mature oilfields, Ritek and Wintershall Dea were considering expansion options for the venture less than two years ago.

In November 2019, Wolgodeminoil won an exploration and development licence for the North Belokamenny block in the Saratov region, with possible in-place resources of 25 million barrels of oil.

Earlier that year, the venture started production at the Zalivnoye field and obtained a five-year exploration licence to assess the potential of the Donsko-Tsaritsynsky tract in the Volgograd region.

ENERGY EXPLORED: SUBSCRIBE TO ACCELERATE

Gain valuable insight into the global oil and gas industry's energy transition from ACCELERATE, the free weekly newsletter from Upstream and Recharge. Sign up here today.

Wintershall Dea stressed that its exit from the joint venture is not an indication that it will curtail is co-operation with privately held Russian oil producer Lukoil, which holds a 100% stake in Ritek.

The German company said it will continue to work together with Lukoil on international projects. Both companies are 5% stakeholders in the Hail & Ghasha mega gas concession in Abu Dhabi.