Stavanger/Oslo. Oil and gas will remain the lubricants for the global economy for many years – Martin Bachmann is convinced. “Oil continues to provide the backbone for the chemical industry. Oil is pharmaceuticals. Oil is innovation. Without oil there is no iPhone. Without oil there are no wind turbines”, said Wintershall`s Board Member responsible for Exploration & Production at an expert meeting to which Wintershall invited in Stavanger and Oslo. „We are, without doubt, living in turbulent times. However, one constant has never changed”, said Bachmann: “Secure oil and gas supplies remain a key motor for global economy. In view of this, Norway will also take on enormous importance for the European energy provision during the coming decades.”
Given the rise in demand, the better development of more mature deposits is becoming more and more important. In 2011, the average recovery rate on the Norwegian Continental Shelf was 46 percent. Wintershall is currently developing together with its parent company BASF the schizophyllan technology – a new environmentally friendly technology which hopefully can improve the recovery rate of deposits significantly.
A further challenge for the industry is to continue developing cost-effective models for both project execution and development solutions. Wintershall is able to offer several pioneering solutions here, including our remote controlled operations in the Southern part of the North Sea and the sustainable reuse of older platforms.
Nevertheless, in order for growth in the global demand for oil and gas, international energy companies must master several fundamental challenges. In the light of the Mocondo accident in the Gulf of Mexico and the public debate on Shale Gas and hydraulic fracturing, it is clear that the oil and gas industry needs to become much more transparent about what we are doing. Bachmann: ”It is a fact that we, as an industry, are measured by the performance of our weakest members. We earn and maintain our “licence to operate” as individual companies but, critically, these days also as an industry together.”
Wintershall currently employs more than 170 staff in Stavanger. We are planning to enlarge our team even further, up to more than 200 colleagues until the end of the year. With more than 45 licences – half of them operated by Wintershall – the company is already one of the largest licence holders in Norway. “We have achieved extraordinary exploration successes in recent years, for example with the Grosbeak and Maria discoveries – and just recently with Skarfjell”, said Bachmann. Wintershall is now moving quickly to develop and extract the discovered reserves.
Wintershall has, being part of BASF, a unique advantage compared to many of the competitors in the industry. This gives the company a strong and solid financial backbone. In Stavanger and Oslo, Wintershall invited experts and decision makers from politics and society to share opinions and experiences. The next “Power Lunch” will take place in August during Norway`s leading energy exhibition in Stavanger, ONS.