Wintershall Warns of 2030 EU Supply Gap
Wintershall CEO Mario Mehren said August 30 that natural gas imports into the European Union will remain important, both economically and to limit global warming, as local production there declines.
He told the Offshore Northern Seas trade fair in Stavanger: “By 2030 we will already have to replace 45bn m3/yr. The dream that many people had of doing so by producing shale gas in Europe has since faded. There are many reasons for this, from questionable economic viability to political embargos. So we have to look for alternatives.”
Norway, Russia and the EU itself would “form the energy triangle that balances the flows of energy for Europe and secures supply”, Mehren said, with one-third of Germany’s gas already coming from Norway. Producers like Norway should “make themselves more visible on the European stage in Brussels and take a clear position to ensure reliable production and a secure supply in Europe.” Amid low prices, governments of producing countries too would have to create the conditions for upstream companies to continue investing, and be proactive in helping find the balance so that investments pay off, he added. BASF-owned Wintershall had increased its Norwegian production from 3,000 to over 80,000 barrels of oil equivalent in recent years.
Wintershall CEO Mario Mehren (Photo credit: Wintershall)
Wintershall’s Europe and Middle East upstream chief Martin Bachmann said that the Maria field, which it operates with a 50% interest offshore Norway, has 180mn boe of recoverable resources (at 100%) mostly of oil but also some gas, with start-up still planned for 2018. The company also has a 24% interest in the major Aasta Hansteen development off Norway that has 45bn m3 of recoverable gas; it is also a co-producer of gas in Russia and the UK/Netherlands with Gazprom, but has shut in production in Libya for over a year.