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 2019.
Interesting facts about crude oil
In 2019, the Mittelplate/Dieksand oil field in the Wadden Sea contained approx. 17.5 million tonnes, more than 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 open up oilfields at a depth of 5,000 m 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 pro- duction in Germany peaked in 1968 with an annual production of around 8 million tonnes. Proven and potential crude oil reserves in Germany were estimated to be around 28 million tonnes as of 1 January 2020. Most of the crude oil reserves are in the North German Basin, primarily in Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony. At the end of 2019, there were 51 oil fields.

Economic importance

With a share of around 35% of primary energy con- sumption, crude oil is by far the most important energy source in Germany. In this context, fossil fuels with a share of 78% generally account for a much larger share than renewable forms of energy. In 2019, current domestic oil production amounted to around 2% of Germany’s annual consumption. This rose by 1.4% compared to the previous year. Germany is one of the world’s largest users of mineral oil, making it almost entirely dependent on importing crude oil and crude oil products. Imports of crude oil are, at around 86 million tonnes, slightly higher than in the previous year. These imports in total were valued at EUR36.8 billion and came from 29 countries,1 with 55% of the imported crude oil alone coming from Russia (27.1 million tonnes), Great Britain (10.2 million tonnes) and Norway (9.7 million tonnes). Germany produced slightly less than 2 million tonnes of crude oil in 2019. The country’s share of global oil production amounted to approx. 0.04% in 2019. The value of crude oil produced in Germany in 2019 is estimated to be EUR823 million, which represents 0.02% of GDP. Crude oil accounted for around 7% of the total value of natural resources produced in Germany in 2019. In terms of economic significance, crude oil thus ranked third behind lignite and natural gas in the list of fossil energy resources produced in Germany and in sixth place out of all natural resources mined nationwide. In a 2019 international comparison of crude oil- producing countries, Germany was in 58th place (1970: 26th place). At the end of 2019, 1,570 persons were employed in oil production in Germany.2

Extraction

be EUR823 million, which represents 0.02% of GDP. Crude oil accounted for around 7% of the total value of natural resources produced in Germany in 2019. In terms of economic significance, crude oil thus ranked third behind lignite and natural gas in the list of fossil energy resources produced in Germany and in sixth place out of all natural resources mined nationwide. In a 2019 international comparison of crude oil- producing countries, Germany was in 58th place
(1970: 26th place). At the end of 2019, 1,570 persons were employed in oil production in Germany.2

Uses

Crude oil is a fossil energy source. It is primarily used as a fuel for vehicular transportation and to heat buildings. Over the last few years, oil has accounted for 94% of energy consumption in the transport sector. For heating, oil makes up around 24.6%. A particularly heavy user of crude oil is the chemical industry for processes such as the manufacture of plastics, foam, electronics, paints, dyes, washing detergents, medicines and cosmetics.

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 domestic gas fields 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 2019. Approx. 94% of 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 consump- tion 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 expan- sion of the gas infrastructure (from 12 to approx. 20 billion m³ (Vn) of raw gas between 1970 and 2005). In 2005, domestic natural gas production covered around 25% of German natural gas consumption.

Since then, however, production has declined. The safe and probable reserves of natural gas are also declining. These amounted to around 46.6 billion m³ (Vn) as of 1 January 2020. The decline in natural gas reserves and production is mainly due to the increasing depletion of the 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

Natural gas is still the second most important source of energy in Germany with a share of around 25% of primary energy consumption. In 2019, natural gas production in Germany amounted to around 6.7 billion m³ (Vn) of raw gas, covering only about 6% of domestic natural gas consumption which increased by approx. 3.3% in 2019. In 2019, 1,702 TWh of natural gas valued at EUR24.56 billion were imported. The imported gas originated in Russia/CIS (1,149 TWh), Norway (300 TWh), the Netherlands (242 TWh) and Belgium and Denmark (together 11.7 TWh). There was a very slight reduction in imports (–3.3%) compared to the previous year. However, a considerable proportion of the natural gas imported was reexported to neighbouring European countries (701 TWh). In the context of the economic significance of domestically produced natural gas, Germany ranked number 47 in the comparison of all natural-gas-producing countries in 2019. The country’s share of global natural gas production amounted to just under 0.2% in 2019. 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 2019 amounted to an estimated EUR1.01 billion. That is equivalent to about 0.03% of GDP. Natural gas accounted for around 9% of the total value of natural resources produced in Germany in 2019. At the end of 2019, 1,338 persons were employed in natural gas production in Germany.

Extraction

Around 94% of German natural gas was extracted in Lower Saxony in 2019. Other federal states (Saxony- Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia and Bavaria) contributed only marginally to the total production. 419 production wells extracted the natural gas on 72 gas fields. The A6/B4 gas field in the ‘Entenschnabel’ (duckbill) – an economic zone in the German Bight (North Sea) – is the only German offshore 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 households (share 43%) and businesses in the commercial, retail and service sectors (share 48%). Natural gas also plays an important role in supplying heat for thermal processes in trade and industry (e.g. in large bakeries, brick factories, cement works, foundries and smelters (share 46%), to generate electricity (share of 12.4% of electricity supplied in Germany and to the grid) and also as a fuel for ships and motor vehicles (0.2% share). 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 reduc- tion in the blast furnace process but particularly in the production of hydrogen through steam reforming.

1 BfA 2018

2 LBEG 2018