Germany's domestic oil production fell 5.9% to 1.6 million metric tons in 2023 while gas output was down 10.4% at 4.3 billion cubic metres (bcm), industry association BVEG said on Tuesday. The companies involved in producing what is left of German gas and oil reserves achieved a turnover of 3 billion euros ($3.19 billion) from their German activities, down from 5 billion euros a year earlier, reflecting lower market prices, BVEG said. Production of oil in Germany peaked in the 1960s and gas in the 1990s. Since then, reserves have fallen, making the country dependent on imports. Since supply disruptions linked to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Germany has substituted huge volumes of Russian gas through deals with Norway and has also agreed supply deals with liquefied natural gas (LNG) traders.

BVEG Managing Director Ludwig Moehring said domestic gas and oil output should be maximised to reduce dependency on LNG imports, for which he said carbon emissions were 30% higher. The industry was investing in carbon management, hydrogen and geothermal activities to support the energy transition, he said. Germany last year sourced about 5.7% of its gas demand and 2.2% of its oil demand from domestic sources. Germany has 22.7 billion cubic metres of underground gas storage capacity, which in 2023 equated to 27% of its total annual consumption and makes it one of the big global players for storage along with the United States, Russia and Ukraine. BVEG groups 81 companies including Neptune Energy, Vermilion Energy, Wintershall Dea and BEB, a joint venture of ExxonMobil and Shell.

Key figures from BVEG's annual report as follows: 2023 2022 Indigenous gas production 4.3 bcm 4.8 bcm Indigenous oil production 1.6 mln T 1.7 mln T Exploration taxes paid 190 mln € 392 mln € Estimated domestic gas 34.3 bcm 36.4 bcm reserves* Estimated domestic oil 22.8 mln T 23.7 mln T reserves* Employees 6,352 6,133 * secure and probable reserves numbers combined ($1 = 0.9417 euros) (Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Friederike Heine and Ros Russell)