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25.06.2014

Background press conference with StatoilRainer Seele, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Wintershall: The North Sea is Europe's most important production region

Berlin. Ahead of the EU summit where the heads of state and government will define the roadmap for Europe's energy policy, Rainer Seele, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of Wintershall, Germany's largest international oil and gas producer, calls for corrections to Germany's energy policy. Germany had to set greater store by natural gas in particular.

"Natural gas is the best option for reducing CO2 emissions cost-effectively," said Seele at a joint press briefing with Statoil CEO Helge Lund in Berlin. Germany had to focus again on the actual objective of the energy shift. That was not to expand renewable energies unconditionally, but to reduce CO2 emissions.

The balance in the energy mix had to be restored and coal substituted by natural gas. "Coal and renewables aren't good partners," said Lund in consent, pointing to the U.S., which had strengthened its economic competitiveness and at the same time cut CO2 emissions with its gas strategy. According to Seele, the task of politicians in Germany was to adapt the general conditions. That is because companies would only make the necessary investments if there was security that their products would be bought.

Seele and Lund emphasized that Europe's supply of natural gas was secure. The North Sea had a key position in this regard and was still the most important production region for Europe. "We sometimes forget that the EU and Norway together produce more than half the gas consumed by Europe," said Seele.

Both CEOs agreed that the close energy partnership with Norway was vital for the EU and Germany, saying that Norway, currently the second-largest gas supplier in the EU, had great potential for the future. According to Lund, only around 30% of its gas reserves have been produced so far. Norway had the resources to secure Germany's supply of gas. Therefore, Statoil would step up its commitment in Europe's largest economy with its new office in Berlin.

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