Official opening of Statoil’s Berlin office
Rune Bjørnson (left), Statoil marketing and trading senior vice president, Elisabeth Walaas, Norway's ambassador to Germany and Hubertus Heil, vice chairman of the SPD group in the German Bundestag, at the official opening. (Photo: Jan-Peter Boening/Agentur Zenit)
“I am very pleased that Statoil now has established a Berlin office. It marks a further step-up in Statoil’s engagement in Germany. We are looking to take an even more active part in the Germany energy discussion, which is natural given our commercial role,” says Bjørnson.
High-level representatives from the German government, Parliament, industry and academia participated in the opening, including Hubertus Heil, vice chairman of the SPD group in the German Bundestag.
The Norwegian government was represented by the new ambassador to Germany, Elisabeth Walaas, and deputy director general Erik Dugstad from the ministry of petroleum and energy.
Statoil is currently the second-largest supplier of natural gas to Germany and has been delivering gas from Norway through three direct pipelines for over 35 years.
Natural gas is a key component to the German economy and covers around 22% of the total energy demand.
“There is no doubt that Statoil has the resources to maintain—and even grow—its supplies to Germany, helping the country to reach its energy and environmental goals. We are here to convey to government, members of Parliament and other stakeholders that gas should continue to be part of the solution when Germany seeks to develop its energy policies,” Bjørnson maintains.
The Berlin office is headed by vice president Jan K. Karlsen. He was previously the head of Statoil’s Washington DC office.
“Germany is a very important market for us. The timing of the office opening coincides with the German energy debate as the country is undergoing a major transformation of its energy mix through the Energiewende,” Karlsen says.
“Undoubtedly, natural gas will be critical to ensure the success of this transformation both from a cost and climate perspective.“