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26.06.2015

New Gas and Fire Protection Centre opened at the Barnstorf facilityWintershall Deutschland invests EUR 1.3 million in safety and environmental protection / Training programme for employees and external groups expanded

BARNSTORF. Wintershall Deutschland has invested 1.3 million euros in expanding the Gas and Fire Protection Centre at the Barnstorf facility (Diepholz) in Lower Saxony, Germany. 

“We’re investing in safety and environmental protection. That’s an important component in continuing the longstanding oil and gas production in the region,” said Andreas Scheck, Head of Wintershall Deutschland, at the official inauguration on Friday before around 40 guests from politics and business.

Margret Suckale, Executive Board Member of BASF SE and responsible among other things for Environment, Health and Safety at the BASF Group, said: “BASF has high standards worldwide. This makes me all the more pleased that, with the extension to the gas and fire protection centre, Wintershall is clearly demonstrating our commitment to safety, health management and environmental protection.”

Wintershall’s new Chairman, Mario Mehren, underlined the importance of oil and gas production in Germany for an internationally active company such as Wintershall: “To ensure security of supply we need two things: domestic production and partnerships worldwide. And Barnstorf provides a basis for both of them. Because here we are producing domestic energy. And here we are developing know-how with which we can make a worldwide impact.”

Wintershall’s new Gas and Fire Protection Centre will enable it to provide its employees and external groups with even better training in important health and safety issues. In addition, it also offers more space for storing, maintaining and inspecting equipment and materials required for exercises and in emergencies.

Wintershall’s previous Gas and Fire Protection Centre had already reached its limits. In 2013 alone, Wintershall Deutschland trained more than 1,300 of its own employees and external personnel as well. 

For this reason, Wintershall has now built a modern extension at its operating facility in Barnstorf. Around 230 square metres of space have been added, which means that around 370 square metres in total are now available. Around 2,500 pieces of equipment are managed, maintained and tested in the Gas and Fire Protection Centre, including protective breathing equipment and gas detectors. Following fire exercise drills, the breathing equipment, for example, must always be made quickly ready for use again. Last year, 700 units were therefore washed, disinfected, dried, reassembled and tested again.

In addition, Wintershall has also invested in a new fire engine for the company fire brigade. “We now have not only a better facility for our fire-fighters with the Gas and Fire Protection Centre but also increased clout and flexibility in the event of an emergency thanks to the new fire engine,” said Michael Bätcher, Head of the Health Management, Safety and Environmental Protection Department in Barnstorf: “Incidentally, we’ve never had a major fire but, should the worst come to the worst, we’re now better equipped and can intervene more quickly and efficiently.” 

The expansion of the Gas and Fire Protection Centre joins a whole raft of measures being undertaken at the Barnstorf facility. For instance, the petroleum processing is currently being modernized. Two new water tanks are also set to go into operation in autumn. This will be followed by the construction of a second oil tank. The entire project is scheduled for completion in autumn 2016. 

In addition, it was also recently decided to construct a new oil pipeline from the Düste Field near Barnstorf to the operating facility. This new pipeline is being combined with a technology project: Wintershall is also laying fibre optic cable parallel to the pipeline. The aim is to monitor the pipeline and prevent damage caused by, for example, unscheduled earthworks.

Wintershall has been recovering crude oil and natural gas at its Barnstorf site for more than 60 years and employs around 350 members of staff here. Barnstorf is still Wintershall’s centre for domestic production. As Germany's largest internationally active oil and gas producer, this is where the company trains young people and researches technology for worldwide use in the exploration and production of oil and gas.

Wintershall Deutschland, which is based in Barnstorf in Lower Saxony, forms the centre of Wintershall’s exploration and production activities. This is where decisive know-how is developed on drilling and recovery technologies – including for international deployment. The company has been producing domestic crude oil since 1930. It has been producing natural gas since 1951. Among other things, Wintershall is the operator of the only gas production platform in the German North Sea (A6-A) and also has a 50 percent share in the Mittelplate oil field off the German coast, which is Germany’s largest oil field in the North Sea. In addition, it also produces domestic energy around Barnstorf in the Rural District of Diepholz, in Emlichheim (County of Bentheim), in Landau in der Pfalz and in Aitingen/Schwabmüchen near Augsburg. Wintershall Deutschland employs 400 members of staff.

Wintershall Holding GmbH, based in Kassel, Germany, is a wholly owned subsidiary of BASF in Ludwigshafen. The company has been active in the extraction of natural resources for 120 years, and in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas for over 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, Russia, North Africa, South America, and increasingly the Middle East region. The company wants to expand its business further with exploration and production, selected partnerships, innovation and technological competence. The company employs more than 2,500 staff worldwide from 40 nations and is now Germany’s largest crude oil and natural gas  producer.

Wintershall. Shaping the future.

Contact: Mark Krümpel