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Mittelplate: Switch to 100% green power from shore will significantly reduce CO2 emissions

Wintershall DeaWintershall Dea has switched the power supply to the Mittelplate Drilling and Production island in the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea National Park to 100% certified electricity from renewable sources. This makes Mittelplate the first oilfield in Germany to be produced solely with green electricity.

“Through an innovative technological approach, we were able to stop generating electricity with a gas turbine and switch to green electricity from shore. Hereby we save up to 36,000t of CO2 annually and significantly reduce our ecological footprint in this sensitive natural environment”, says Wintershall Dea’s Chief Technology Officer Hugo Dijkgraaf. “The changeover to electricity from renewable sources also represents a further step in implementing Wintershall Dea’s strategy to consistently reduce emissions that are harmful to the climate”, he adds.

In terms of direct emissions, in 2018 the international oil & gas industry emitted on average 17.4 kg CO2 per barrel of oil equivalent produced. By comparison, Mittelplate emitted just 3.6kg CO2 per barrel of oil equivalent in 2019. Even better: as a result of measures such as shutting down the turbine and changing power supply, Wintershall Dea expects to emit only 0.4kg per barrel of oil equivalent in 2021.

“The use of green electricity is an important step in an ongoing process towards achieving even greater ecological sustainability and environmental protection – and it won’t be the last”, stresses Dirk Warzecha, Head of Wintershall Dea’s Business Unit Germany, at today’s symbolic switch event on the dyke in Friedrichskoog. “By acting responsibly and using state-of-the-art technology, we will ensure that crude oil production and environmental protection in the tidelands off the coast of Friedrichskoog are compatible”, he states.

Previously, the electricity needed on Mittelplate was primarily generated using a turbine on the island that was driven by the associated gas extracted along with the crude oil. Wintershall Dea is discontinuing power generation using the gas turbine and will now get all its power from the mainland exclusively from renewable sources. That also applies to all the other facilities belonging to the Holstein Production District on the mainland, such as the treatment plants and offices in Friedrichskoog, as well as the landing stage in Cuxhaven. Dirk Warzecha also announced that by 2021, Wintershall Dea will switch all the production locations in Germany to certified electricity generated from renewable sources.