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The Program with the Mouse visits WintershallThe TV show for children will follow natural gas as it travels from the production platform F 16-A to the consumers in Cologne

Warm water for the shower or for the heating: a small blue flame brings cold water to the right temperature and warms the rooms in many homes. However, the invisible fuel has a long journey before it reaches the consumers. A TV team from the show “The Program with the Mouse” was allowed to film where the gas comes from: the middle of the Dutch North Sea, on the Wintershall production platform F16-A. Once the natural gas has been extracted from the sandstone and reaches the surface of the water after several thousand meters, it is purified and dried before being transported in the direction of the mainland by a turbine. This is how it starts its journey through an intricate pipeline system.

Germany’s most famous children’s program follows the natural gas through the sea to the Dutch coast and on to the German border – and right up to the consumers in Cologne. It also shows how the natural gas is measured, dried and heated at compressor stations, how a transport pipeline is laid, and where and how the natural gas is stored in an underground gas storage facility for the winter.

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The Program with the Mouse is one of the most successful children’s programs on German television. It has been produced by ARD (WDR) since 1971. At the heart of the 30-minute TV show are the so-called ‘Laughing and Learning Stories’. The laughing stories serve to amuse, and the learning stories, mostly educational and learning films, aim to impart knowledge to children, for example how an object of everyday use is made or how it works: “How holes get into Swiss cheese”,  “Who puts the stripes in toothpaste?” or “Where does the gas that heats our water come from?” Between the educational features, the program contains animated interludes with the mouse, from where the program gets its name, and its friends – the small blue elephant and the yellow duck.

Wintershall’s production in the North Sea

Around half of the natural gas consumed in Europe today still comes from the countries bordering the North Sea: Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, the UK and Germany. Crude oil production in this region covers more than a quarter of European oil consumption. As one of the largest European crude oil and natural gas producers, the North Sea is one of the traditional core regions of Wintershall. The wholly owned BASF subsidiary has been active in the region since 1965.

Wintershall is one of the largest natural gas producers in the Netherlands and operates 23 offshore platforms there overall. In order to manage these operations efficiently, Wintershall controls 18 of these platforms from Den Helder with one of the most modern radio surveillance and control systems. Overall, facilities in three different countries and 20 platforms are monitored by the RCO headquarters: as well as the 18 platforms in the Dutch North Sea, one platform in the German North Sea and the Wingate platform in the southern British North Sea. This reduces the number of transportation and provisions flights to the platforms by a third. The Center for Remote Controlled Operations (RCO) is essential for the commercial exploitation of smaller reservoirs in the southern North Sea.

Contact: Stefan Leunig