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Norway the base for European energy security

Wintershall questions Germany's energy idealism.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Aug. 28, 2014 at 8:49 AM
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STAVANGER, Norway, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Norway will serve as a cornerstone of the future energy security needs of the European economy, a top executive at German energy company Wintershall said.

Martin Bachmann, Wintershall's director of exploration and production, said European energy security answers are within the European community itself.

"Norway has the resources, is politically stable and has very good infrastructure," he told delegates at the Offshore Northern Seas conference in Stavanger, Norway.

Norway is the region's top oil and natural gas producer. For the German market in particular, Bachmann said most Germans would favor Norway as an energy partner over Russia, the Middle East or North America.

Germany's power sector is struggling to find new footing after the government decided to abandon nuclear power following the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2012. Bachmann said focusing squarely on renewable energy as an alternative is a short-sighted policy.

"Pragmatism is just as important [as idealism]," he said. "That would enable us to turn our attention back to natural gas as a driving force and cornerstone of positive change in the energy system," Bachmann concluded.

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