Europe banks on the “Norwegian factor”
Wintershall continues to expand activities in the North Sea
German-Norwegian energy partnership plays a strategic role for Europe
Berlin. The international competition for resources is intensifying the search for a clean, secure and affordable energy supply for Europe. Emerging nations like China are steadily gaining influence on the global energy market. At the same time, in the medium term the growing demand for raw materials will face the challenge of increasingly scarce resources. Against this backdrop representatives from politics and industry discussed the possible ways of shaping the future European energy supply at an energy breakfast today at the Kingdom of Norway Embassy in Berlin, and in particular the importance of deepening the German-Norwegian energy partnership. Norway’s ambassador Sven Erik Svedman highlighted the vast potential in boosting cooperation between German and Norway: “Together Norway and Germany could play an even more important role in Europe’s energy supply in future. The opportunities are there, it is merely up to the industry to grasp them.”
For Martin Bachmann, Member of the Wintershall Board of Directors responsible for Exploration and Production, it is clear that alongside Russia, Norway is the key energy partner in securing Europe’s energy supply longterm. “Alongside Russia, Norway is a crucial energy partner for the EU – and particularly for Germany,” Bachmann explained: “Norway offers enormous know-how in the field of energy, in addition to stability and reliability.” In light of this, Bachmann called for a German-Norwegian energy partnership with Russia.
North Sea: An important future region – Wintershall in Norway
Martin Bachmann outlined the strategic background to Wintershall’s increased activities in Norway at the event. “We want to become an integrated exploration and production company in Norway, as a technology partner with a long-term vision and one of the leading operators on the Norwegian continental shelf,” Bachmann said outlining the company’s goals. Wintershall is planning to step up its cooperation along the entire value creation chain, similar to its successful and long-standing activities in Russia – from the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas at the source to its transportation and storage, to the marketing to the European customers.
Wintershall has expanded its activities considerably in Norway since the Norwegian subsidiary Wintershall Norge was founded in 2005. With over 40 licenses and more than 20 operatorships, Wintershall is already one of the largest license holders on the Norwegian continental shelf. The company invested about half of its global exploration budget in the Norwegian continental shelf alone in 2011. Wintershall Norge is planning to invest more than a billion euros by 2015 and is striving for a production level of 50,000 BOE per day in the Norwegian and British sectors of the North Sea.
Norway is a crucial energy partner
The energy breakfast in the Norwegian Embassy aimed to continue a dialog already launched in the middle of November at an international energy conference in Oslo. 150 decision-makers from politics and industry – including the former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and the Norwegian Minister for oil and energy Ola Borten Moe – discussed the challenges and opportunities of the German-Norwegian energy partnership in great depth. The Norwegian energy minister Moe emphasized the great potential of deepened cooperation between the two nations in the energy sector. Germany was a very important partner for Norway in the energy sector, he said. Norway was striving to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in future. At the energy conference in Oslo Schröder highlighted that Russia and Norway were strategic energy partners for the Europeans. Europe needed both countries to a much greater degree because supplying energy faced with major new challenges.
Wintershall Holding GmbH, based in Kassel, Germany, is a whollyowned subsidiary of BASF in Ludwigshafen. The company has been active in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas for more than 80 years. Wintershall focuses on selected core regions, where the company has built up a high level of regional and technological expertise. These are Europe, North Africa, South America, as well as Russia and the Caspian Sea region. In addition, these operations are complemented by the company’s growing exploration activities in the Arabian Gulf. Today, the company employs more than 2,000 staff worldwide from 35 nations and is Germany’s largest crude oil and natural gas producer. With the subsidiaries it operates together with Russia’s Gazprom, WINGAS and WINGAS TRANSPORT, the BASF subsidiary is also an important gas supplier on the German and European market.