Senior Power Correspondent
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Mar 14, 2014

German gas freeze menaces Wintershall’s technology exports

FRANKFURT, March 14 (Reuters) – Germany’s two-year-old
freeze on new exploration for gas means Wintershall
is less able to develop expertise at home and therefore risks
losing its competitive edge abroad, a board member of the energy
company said.

Environmental and political opposition to U.S.-style shale
gas fracking has led German authorities and policymakers to
refuse new licences, even for conventional gas technology, while
debate continues over a federal law on the future framework.

Mar 13, 2014

Wintershall CEO: Ukraine crisis won’t scupper Gazprom deal

KASSEL, Germany, March 13 (Reuters) – BASF oil
and gas unit Wintershall said the Ukraine crisis would not
scupper an asset-swap agreement with Gazprom which
would give Russia greater access to gas trading and storage in

Wintershall Chief Executive Rainer Seele said on Thursday
that the companies had all the necessary approvals and the
arrangement, agreed in 2012 and approved late last year, was now
only a matter of operational implementation.

Mar 10, 2014

EU deals blow to two big Russian gas pipeline projects

FRANKFURT/BRUSSELS, March 10 (Reuters) – Brussels dealt a
blow on Monday to two major Russian pipeline projects to supply
natural gas to Europe, in the latest sign of strains in the
energy links between Moscow and the European Union.

Russia’s seizure of Ukraine’s Crimea region has already
shaken political relations between Russia and the European

Mar 7, 2014

German power utilty EnBW warns of further profit fall in 2014

FRANKFURT, March 7 (Reuters) – EnBW, Germany’s
third-biggest power utility, reported a 5.3 percent drop in
underlying profits on Friday and warned of a similar possible
fall this year as its conventional plants struggle to compete
with subsidised renewable power.

The group said its adjusted earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) fell to 2.22 billion
euros ($3.07 billion) in 2013 and could decline further, by up
to 5 percent, in 2014.

Feb 26, 2014

Industry-funded report calls for changes to German energy policy

FRANKFURT, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Germany’s current policy of
rapidly deploying renewable energy should be redesigned to
prevent its industry from losing global market share because of
high power costs, a report by international think-tank IHS
said on Thursday.

The research by IHS, a global research, analysis and
specialist information group, was funded by companies in
Germany’s chemical and oil and gas industries such as BASF
, Bayer and Exxon Mobil and
national business federations.

Feb 19, 2014

Bank exits boost utilities, funds in Europe gas and power trading

LONDON/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Tougher European financial regulations have prompted banks to leave power and gas trading, meaning greater dominance by utilities and trading houses and less appeal for investors.

The global commodities market for banks has shrunk to about $4 billion from as high as $12 billion at the end of the last decade, partly as a result of reflecting stricter restrictions on banks trading with their own money.

Feb 13, 2014

RWE trading unit expects to grow faster outside Europe

ESSEN, Germany Feb 13 (Reuters) – German utility RWE’s
trading subsidiary is seeking to expand in North
American and Asian energy and commodities markets because of
Europe’s slow growth and increased regulation, a senior manager

Within five years, operating profit from overseas activities
will account for 50 percent of RWE Supply & Trading’s overall
result, compared with 15 to 25 percent now, Peter Krembel, head
of global power and gas trading and origination, said in an
interview earlier this week.

Feb 12, 2014

Austria burdened by Germany’s shift to green power

ESSEN, Germany (Reuters) – Weather-driven surges of German solar and wind power may lead to higher costs for Austria as its grid is forced to take measures to avoid breaking down, a Austrian energy regulator said, calling for a region-wide solution to excess flows.

Martin Graf, who shares leadership of the Vienna-based E-Control authority with Walter Boltz, said Austria already must deal with a constant unwanted supply of 2,000 megawatts of power from northern Germany that flows into its grid via Poland and the Czech Republic, he said.

Feb 6, 2014

Unleash German shale to halt gas output decline, industry pleads

FRANKFURT, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Germany’s gas industry says it
needs shale to halt a sharp decline in domestic output, but
behind its pleas lies private acknowledgement that environmental
and political opposition is just too strong.

Frustration is compounded by Germany’s lead in fracking
technology, which it has been quietly using for over 50 years.

Jan 21, 2014

German power sector troubles trigger big and ‘bad’ ideas

BERLIN, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Big problems are prompting big
ideas about reforming Germany’s utility sector ranging from a
super-merger among players in the “big four” to creating a “bad”
utility to take over loss-making plants.

The business model for German utilities has crumbled over
the last three years, rocked by the country’s decision to drop
nuclear energy by 2022, record-low wholesale power prices and a
boom in solar and wind power capacity that is pushing coal and
gas plants off the grid.

    • About Vera

      "I report on German power and gas markets in liaison with a team of other specialists in European bureaus. I am based in Frankfurt and previously covered commodities out of Hamburg and London. My aim is to identify market and industry trends and to produce high quality copy which is accessible to expert subscribers as well as to energy and business audiences, and to help shape our energy products."
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