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Federal Economics Minister Zypries visited WintershallFederal Economics Minister Brigitte Zypries (SPD) visited Wintershall, Germany’s leading gas and oil producer, in Kassel on Monday. The conversation with CEO Mario Mehren included topics such as supply security in Europe, the role of natural gas in the implementation of the energy transition and Wintershall’s international activities.

“The global energy markets are undergoing radical change. I have received a very good impression of how Wintershall is equipped to face these challenges,” said Zypries. She described the energy transition as an intergenerational project and highlighted natural gas’ contribution toward ensuring supply security throughout Germany and Europe.

Wintershall CEO Mario Mehren emphasized that Germany, as Europe’s largest industrial country, requires natural gas to ensure energy remains affordable for everyone. “The aim of a climate-friendly energy supply that focuses on renewables has been set. No one wants to change that; however, the path towards that goal is taking longer and therefore we need an intelligent mix.”

During a tour through the Wintershall Visitor Platform, Zypries gained valuable insight regarding the tradition as well as future of crude oil and natural gas production. Mehren explained why natural gas is the ideal sparring and long-term partner for renewables. “We are also well positioned in terms of crude oil. We should not demonize our energy sources, but rather everyone should focus on making the best use of their strengths,” noted Mehren. “Without a higher proportion of natural gas, the government’s medium-term climate protection targets will not be able to be achieved.”

The implementation of the energy transition requires a cooperative partnership, said Zypries. She added that an intelligent balance must be found in the future. “We want to achieve the transition to renewable energies and increased climate protection. And we see the role of natural gas in ensuring the energy supply,” said Zypries.