European “Nord Stream” pipeline project strengthens supply security of the EU countries
Moscow. On the occasion of the “Neftegaz” Trade Fair in Moscow, Dr. Rainer Seele, speaker for the management of WINGAS GmbH, called for more support for the European “Nord Stream” infrastructure project in order to also be able to cover Europe’s increasing demand for gas in the future. At the same time, he pointed out the necessity for long-term, reliable general political conditions for producers and importers. Due to the declining European production of natural gas and the increasing demand for the raw material within Europe, the volume imported will almost double by 2020. “In order to be able to transport these additionally needed quantities, we urgently need new transportation capacities, like Nord Stream or South Stream”, emphasized Seele in Moscow. Billion Euro investments, such as these, are a direct investment in Europe’s supply security. Therefore, at the Neftegaz, Seele urgently requests politicians to support the large-scale transnational project. This year, the Neftegaz is taking place in the Russian Federation for the 12th time and simultaneously celebrating its 30th year of existence – at the Moscow exhibition grounds from 23 to 27 June, 2008. Several thousand specialists are expected to visit the largest international trade fair for the oil and gas industry, with 920 exhibitors from 30 countries.
Key project for European energy supply
Nord Stream will directly connect the European consumer markets with Siberian fossil fuel deposits. It is to be laid from Wyborg in Russia through the Baltic Sea to the German Baltic Sea coast in the region of Greifswald – a distance of over 1200 km. Consequently, the Baltic pipeline will be one of the longest submarine pipelines in the world. “No other pipeline project in Europe is of this dimension and no other pipeline in Europe can replace Nord Stream”, stressed Seele at the Neftegaz. The European Union classified Nord Stream as a priority energy project of interest for Europe as a whole and included it in the so-called TEN-E List (Trans-European Network of Energy) as a key project for Europe’s future energy supply. The fact that, in addition to the founding partners Gazprom, Wintershall and E.ON Ruhrgas, the Dutch Gasunie is also be participating in the transnational shareholder structure of Nord Stream AG, illustrates the European character and importance of the project for the European Union, says Seele. WINGAS has already secured initial deliveries of up to nine billion cubic meters of natural gas per annum from 2011 to 2036 via Nord Stream for the German and European markets. A major portion of the gas volumes arriving via Nord Stream are destined for Western Europe. Companies from France, Denmark and Great Britain have already signed contracts with Nord Stream for long-term supplies of gas via the Baltic pipeline. Europe will not only profit from the additional volumes of gas, says Seele, but also from the investments of 7.4 billion Euros connected with these. Mainly European companies are participating in the construction of the submarine pipeline – from the design and manufacture of the pipes, to laying of the pipeline.
However, the greatest challenges are not of an economic or technical nature, but the approval procedures, explained Rainer Seele, with the current discussion in mind. “In this respect, we need the support of the individual EU member states in order to be able to realize the project quickly, for time’s running short.” In the interest of Europe additional capacities to stimulate the competition should be available as soon as possible.
Natural gas for another 35 years
By securing further natural gas volumes for Europe, WINGAS has, even now, ensured the future energy supply. Only recently, Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of OAO Gazprom and Director General of OOO Gazprom export, and Dr. Rainer Seele signed a Declaration of Intent regarding the early extension of the existing natural gas supply contract between OOO Gazprom export and WIEH (a joint venture between Gazprom and the German Wintershall) to 35 years. This concerns the largest individual supply contract in the history of German/Russian energy partnership. With the early extension of the contract to now 35 years up to the end of 2043, WIEH alone will secure a total of more than 500 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia. The three gas trading companies WINGAS, WIEH and WIEE, will then, together, have more than 800 billion cubic meters of natural gas for the next 35 years. As an example: This quantity of gas will suffice to supply all private German households with the “blue fuel” for around 25 years.
A model in terms of partnership
According to Seele, WINGAS, with its shareholders Gazprom and Wintershall, is a model for a successful Russian/German partnership. The partners have been cooperating successfully since as far back as 1990. “The essential prerequisite for a partnership of this type is, above all, mutual trust”, continued Seele. One sees the value of trust as far as successful cooperation is concerned time and again – be it in politics or in economic relationships. And, naturally, in the cooperation between large companies.
WINGAS GmbH is presenting itself in Hall 2 (Stand 21D10) at the Neftegaz (“Expocentre” exhibition grounds, Krasnaja Presnja, 1. Krasnogwardeiskij Projesd 12, Moscow) from 23 to 27 June, 2008.
Information for journalists:
Dr. Rainer Seele, Member of the Board of Wintershall Holding AG and speaker for the management of WINGAS GmbH, will discuss the subject of Nord Stream on Thursday, 26 June 2008, at the 6th Russian Petroleum and Gas Conference during the Neftegaz Trade Fair. The conference is taking place at the Conference Centre, Pavilion 7 at the “Expocentre”.
PI-08-10 - 06/24/08
Information on the construction of the Nord Stream pipeline through the Baltic Sea www.nord-stream.com
During Neftegaz international trade show in Moscow Dr. Rainer Seele, Chairman of WINGAS, talked with Russian newspaper Vremya Novostei about the company’s shareholder, Gazprom, and the European natural gas market.
Inspecting the floor of the Baltic Sea
On the Danish research ship, the “Pollux” in Helsinki harbor (Finland), specialists prepare their gradiometer, which they will use to inspect the floor of the Baltic Sea for old ammunition dumps. These investigation methods are part of the preparatory phase for constructing the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline, which will run through the Baltic Sea, and is expected to start transporting natural gas from the Siberian reservoirs to Europe in 2010.