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Oil imports and crude oil production in Germany

Germany's crude oil imports were around 91 million tons in 2016. The most important supplier country is Russia; whose contribution to German crude oil imports last year was almost 40 percent. Around 22.4 million tonnes were purchased from Norway and member states of the European Union in 2016, which is less than a quarter of German crude oil imports.

As direct supplier countries for the German crude oil supply, the OPEC countries are no longer as important as they were at the beginning of the 1970s. But their influence on the world oil market is unbroken: Last year they contributed around 40 percent to global crude oil production and owned 70 percent of the global conventional and unconventional crude oil reserves, i.e. the proven quantities of crude oil that can be extracted at today's prices and with today's technology. In addition, the OPEC states alone, above all Saudi Arabia, have greater reserve capacities, i.e. the possibility of increasing oil production for a certain period of time within a few weeks. This enables them to compensate, for example, seasonal peaks in demand or temporary failures by other oil producers.

Domestic production contributed around 2.4 million tons to the oil supply. The focus of domestic oil production is in Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony. According to mining law, the federal states are also responsible for approving exploration and production activities. The only "offshore" production of crude oil in German waters takes place on the Mittelplate drilling and production island, around seven kilometers off the Schleswig-Holstein North Sea coast. The companies involved in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas are organized in the Bundesverband Erdgas, Erdöl und Geoenergie e.V.

The individual companies decide on the procurement and thus the origin of crude oil imports - apart from exceptions due to EU or UN sanctions against certain countries. The Federal Government politically supports the international activities of German companies. It maintains long-term and reciprocal energy partnerships with several countries. In addition, there are multilaterally organized processes within the framework of the European Union, the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Group of Seven / Eight (G7 / 8) and the group of the twenty most important industrialized and emerging countries (G20).

The crude oil market is a world market, i.e. the global conditions on the supply and demand side (economic growth in industrialized and emerging countries, oil stocks, dollar exchange rate, etc.) are included in the crude oil price. The oil trade is based on reference varieties such as the North Sea oil "Brent" and the US reference variety West Texas Intermediate (WTI). In Europe, Rotterdam is the most important trading center for crude oil and petroleum products. Trading takes place in dollars, so that the exchange rate of the euro is also important for the local prices for fuel and heating oil.