EU Stresses Importance of Nord Stream for Securing Europian Supply

Wintershall welcomed the resolution of the European Parliament regarding the importance of the Nord Stream pipeline project as a key project for the future of Europe's energy supply. In its resolution dated July 8, 2008, the European Parliament pointed out that the Nord Stream is a pipeline project that is necessary in order to be able to cover the future natural gas requirement of the EU countries. In the coming decade, the EU’s supply gap will increase to at least 110 billion cubic meters of natural gas since, parallel to the higher demand in Europe, own gas reserves are also decreasing sharply.

"The resolution is a good intermediate step not only towards further deepening the dialog with the European Parliament but, above all, with those involved in the project," said Reinier Zwitserloot, Chairman of the Board of Wintershall Holding AG.

In addition, in its resolution, the European Parliament had made it clear that the increased percentage of natural gas in the energy mix of the EU is a significant contribution towards reducing the emission of carbon dioxide. In this context, Zwitserloot pointed out the ecological advantages of the variant chosen compared to laying overland, saying, "Laying the pipeline through the Baltic Sea will mean at least four million tons less carbon dioxide per year."

The transnational shareholder structure of Nord Stream AG with the Dutch Gasunie now also holding shares, in addition to the founding partners Gazprom, Wintershall and E.ON Ruhrgas, illustrates the European character and importance of the project for the European Union, continued Zwitserloot. The Wintershall Board Chairman emphasized that the project is being realized in compliance with all national, European and international legal requirements – in particular, the environmental compatibility tests as outlined by the Espoo Convention.

The 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. The European Union has classified North Stream as a priority energy project of interest for Europe as a whole and has included it in the so-called TEN-E List (Trans-European Network of Energy).