German chemicals giant BASF said Friday it has agreed with Russian gas behemoth Gazprom to go ahead with an asset swap which the two had abandoned due to tensions between Russia and the West.
"Due to the difficult political environment, BASF and Gazprom had decided not to complete the asset swap planned for the end of the 2014," the German group explained in a statement.
"We continued our joint ventures in Europe and Russia. We did not exclude completing the asset swap at a later date and came to the joint decision to now complete the transaction," the statement said.
"We are working together with Gazprom as partners in the energy sector and will continue to extend our cooperation. We are convinced that natural gas from Russia is necessary to ensure energy security in Europe."
Under the deal, BASF's subsidiary Wintershall obtains shares in a western Siberian gas field.
In exchange it will hand over its stake in their joint venture gas storage and trading business, plus a stake in an oil and gas exploration unit in the North Sea.
"The completion of the asset swap is expected by the end of 2015 and, as agreed upon in December 2013, will be financially retroactive to April 1, 2013. The swap was already approved by the European Commission at the beginning of December 2013," BASF said.
"With the swap, BASF will further expand its production of oil and gas and will exit the gas trading and storage business," BASF said.