Exclusive Interview with Mario Mehren, CEO of Wintershall Dea
It’s one year since Wintershall Dea was formed through a merger. What’s the outlook for the new company?
The merger has formed a single forward looking company: Wintershall Dea, Europe’s leading gas and oil company. We are fit for the future. Our business is weighted towards gas, so we are ready for the global energy transition: we can play a role in tackling climate change, as well as securing the energy supplies that the world needs. And we have a diversified, well-balanced portfolio with production in 13 countries around the world. All in all, our new business is strong and ready for the future: which is important in these challenging times.
How are you handling the pressure of the Coronavirus crisis, and the current low oil price?
Right now, the world faces the greatest crisis we have seen in decades. The Coronavirus first and foremost threatens our health, but is also having a major impact on our daily lives and the global economy. Additionally in the oil sector we are facing an oil price that looks set to be significantly lower this year than in 2019.
It goes without saying that we have implemented all possible measures to secure the health of our employees. Our people are working from home wherever possible. At the same time we are making sure to maintain all business operations in order to produce and deliver the energy the world needs.
I’m confident that we are well positioned to handle what will be a difficult year for our sector. Our production costs are almost half the average of our competitors: so we are already resilient to crisis. But we’ve also taken additional steps, for example reducing our planned investments this year by around 20%. Corona and the oil price together represent an extreme challenge for our industry. But we remain optimistic.
What’s your message for the community in Egypt at present?
Wintershall Dea has, through its predecessor companies, been present in Egypt for 45 years. We are proud to be a part of the community here. So as we are in the holy month of Ramadan, I would like to take the opportunity of personally wishing all the Egyptian continued well-being and success. May you and your families have a blessed and peaceful month.