Norway is essential for Europe's energy supply Wintershall invites experts to a Power Lunch in Bergen
Bergen. As much as renewable energy plays an important role – the future also needs oil and gas! “They provide the basis for a modern, competitive economy. And when it comes to securely supplying oil and gas, the North Sea and Norway in particular play a key role,” declared Wintershall Executive Board Member Martin Bachmann in Bergen. Wintershall had invited experts from the oil and gas industry to a “Power Lunch” in the Norwegian coastal town.
“Europe needs to make better use of its reserves and produce more efficiently,” explained Bachmann: “Domestic production in the EU is declining. At the same time we expect an increase in the import demand of around 100 billion cubic metres by 2030. To also ensure energy supplies in the future, the EU therefore needs reliable energy partnerships. As a direct neighbour of the EU, Norway is of utmost importance in this regard. After all, supply security always begins on your own doorstep.”
In just a few years Wintershall Norge has become a central player on the Norwegian Continental Shelf with over 50 licences – whereby it is the operator for more than half of them. With the opening of its offices in Bergen in autumn 2013, the company is now even more strongly linked to the region. Bergen is Wintershall’s second base in Norway after Stavanger. For Wintershall it was therefore a logical choice to host this year's Power Lunch for the first time in Bergen.
The informal meeting of experts brought together leading representatives from politics and industry in the region, whereby the focus was on Norway's central role in the European energy architecture and Wintershall’s plans in the Bergen region. Referring to this, Bergen’s Mayor, Trude Drevland, said: “The oil and gas industry has considerable importance for Bergen and the whole region. With Wintershall we can welcome an internationally active company that stands not only for success, but also for sustainability.”
Bernd Schrimpf, Managing Director of Wintershall Norge, and Alv Bjørn Solheim, Head of Production Operations, emphasised the ideal conditions for oil and gas companies in Bergen. These have provided an ideal environment for successfully mastering a significant step in the company's recent history: since October last year, Wintershall has for the first time become the operator of a producing field on the Norwegian Continental Shelf with the Brage platform.
In order to tap the full potential of the Brage field, whose lifetime has been extended to 2030, the production well currently being sunk will be followed by two more during the next few months. By the end of the year it is planned to increase the number of employees working on the Brage platform and in Wintershall’s office in Bergen to around 200 staff.