Crude Oil and Gas

Crude Oil

Interesting facts about crude oil

Interesting facts about crude oil
Germany covered about 2% of its crude oil demand with domestic production in 2018.
Interesting facts about crude oil
In 2018, the Mittelplate/Dieksand oil field in the Wadden Sea contained approx. 17.5 million tonnes, almost half of Germany’s recoverable oil reserves.
Interesting facts about crude oil
Crude oil is created by huge deposits of plankton
Interesting facts about crude oil
On average, crude oil deposits are found at a depth of around 1.5 km. Technical progress, however, has made it possible to develop oilfields at a depth of 5 km and more.
Interesting facts about crude oil
More than 22,000 drilling operations have been carried out since crude oil and natural gas production began in Germany.
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History

Crude oil has been industrially extracted in Germany for more than 150 years. The successful oil well in Wietze near Celle in 1858/59 is generally recognised as being one of the first in the world. Crude oil produc- tion in Germany peaked in 1968 with an annual production of around 8 million tonnes. Annual produc- tion in 2018 amounted to 2.1 million tonnes. Proven and potential crude oil reserves in Germany were estimated to be around 29 million tonnes as of January 1, 2019.

Economic importance

In 2018, current domestic oil production amounted to around 2% of Germany’s annual consumption.
The country’s share of global crude oil production amounted to approx. 0.2% in 2018. The value of crude oil produced in 2018 was estimated at €783 million. In terms of economic significance, crude oil thus ranked third behind natural gas and lignite in the list of fossil energy raw materials produced in Germany. In a 2018 international comparison of crude oil-producing countries, Germany ranked 58th (1970: 26th). At the end of 2018, 1,642 persons were employed in oil and gas production in Germany.1

Extraction

In 2018, as in the previous year, 51 oil fields were in production in Germany. These fields extract oil by means of some 988 production wells in drilling installations (onshore) and production platforms (offshore). In 2018, the oilfields of Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony yielded almost 90% of the total German production. The remaining production was mainly produced in the Rhineland-Palatinate as well as Bavaria, together with very low production levels in Hamburg, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The largest German crude oil field is the Mittelplate/Dieksand in the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea (Wattenmeer) National Park. It has been developed since 1987 by a drilling and production island and by oil well facilities on the mainland. This oilfield accounted for more than half of Germany’s total crude oil production in 2018.

Uses

Crude oil is a fossil energy source. It is primarily used as a fuel for vehicular transportation and to heat buildings. Crude oil is also used in the chemical industry for e. g. the manufacture of plastics.

Natural gas

Interesting facts about natural gas

Interesting facts about natural gas
In contrast to coal and oil, natural gas has only been used as an energy source relatively recently
Interesting facts about natural gas
Germany has an active offshore gas field in the German Bight. Natural gas is extracted on this one-hectare operating facility and supplied to some 15,000 households.
Interesting facts about natural gas
Natural gas has been extracted from gas fields in Germany for the past 100 years.
Interesting facts about natural gas
6% of the demand for natural gas in Germany was covered by domestic production in 2018. Approximately 94% of the natural gas was extracted in Lower Saxony.
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History

In 1910, natural gas was found in Neuengamme (which is a district of Hamburg today) when drilling for water. The industrial production of natural gas started in 1913. However, natural gas production in Germany remained minimal until the end of the 1960s, with only a 1% share of the primary energy consumption in Germany (West). The oil crises of the 1970s focused increased attention on the consumption of energy and the need for the development of energy sources. Domestic production grew with the discovery of large gas deposits on the German-Dutch border and the increasing conversion of town and coke-oven gas to natural gas. This was accompanied by a steady expansion of the gas infrastructure (from 12 to 20 billion m³(Vn) of raw gas between 1970 and 2005). In 2005, domestic natural gas production covered up to 25% of German natural gas consumption. Since then, however, production has declined. In 2018, it amounted to around 6.9 billion m³(Vn) of raw gas, covering only about 6% of domestic natural gas consumption. The safe and probable reserves of natural gas are also declining. These levels amounted to around 54 billion m³(Vn) at the end of 2018. The decline in natural gas reserves and production is mainly due to the increasing depletion of the large deposits and the resulting natural decline in extraction. There have been no significant new discoveries in recent years. A legislative process lasting several years was also responsible for the decline in reserves; during this process, the topics discussed included future requirements for the use of fracking technology, which led to new legislation in 2016.

Economic importance

Germany ranked 48th in the comparison of all natural gas-producing countries in 2018. The country’s share of global gas production amounted to approx. 0.2% in 2018. Natural gas is of relatively significant economic importance in relation to other extracted natural resources such as lignite. The value of the natural gas extracted in 2018 amounted to an estimated €1.4 billion. Natural gas accounted for around 11% of the total value of natural resources produced in Germany in 2018. At the end of 2018, 1,501 persons were employed in oil and gas production in Germany.2

Extraction

Almost 94% of German natural gas was extracted in Lower Saxony in 2018. Other Federal States (Saxony- Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia and Bavaria) contributed only marginally to the total production. The natural gas is extracted from 434 production wells on 77 gas fields. The A6/B4 gas field in the “Entenschnabel” (duckbill) – an economic zone in the German Bight (North Sea) – is the only German off- shore gas field. Like crude oil, natural gas occurs in underground deposits. Similar to the exploration of crude oil, the exploration of natural gas takes place primarily through seismic surveys and exploration drilling. Gas extraction takes place through a borehole stabilised with cement and steel and a riser pipe is then inserted through the hole.

Uses

As a fossil energy source, natural gas is mainly used to heat residential and commercial premises, to supply heat for thermal processes in trade and industry (e.g. in large bakeries, brick factories, cement factories, foundries and smelters) and to generate electrical power; it is used as fuel for ships and motor vehicles. Natural gas also has many other significant uses – as a reactant in chemical processes (e. g. for ammonia synthesis in the Haber-Bosch process (nitrogen fertiliser)), for iron ore reduction in the blast furnace pro- cess and in the production of hydrogen.

1 BfA 2018

2 LBEG 2018