Mining and raw materials
Raw materials are the source of many value chains; Niedersachsen is rich in resources.
Every society, especially a highly industrialised society like Germany, is dependent on the many uses of the most various raw materials: minerals, metals, energy and more. Niedersachsen is rich in raw materials that form the basis of many value creation chains, above all mineral resources, while metal ores, industrial minerals and energy generation fuels must to a large extent be imported.
Mineral raw materials
Mineral raw materials are mainly used in construction (gravel, sand and stone) for building and maintaining highways as the essential modern infrastructure along with new-build and renovation of commercial, industrial and residential buildings. Other mineral raw materials are used in manufacturing diverse products or are indispensable for industrial processes. For example, limestone is essential for environmental protection, farming, the chemical industry, the food, glass, steel, paper and plastics industries, just like dolomite, silica sand, gypsum, clay or salt in other areas. Extraction in Niedersachsen is mainly by small and medium-sized enterprises.
- 97% of the mineral oil extracted in Germany
- 58 bn cubic metres of natural gas reserves
- 7,5 m tonnes of oil reserves
For decades, Niedersachsen has made an important contribution to domestic energy supplies with above-average extraction rates: in 2015 around 8.3 billion cubic metres of natural gas and 820,000 tons of oil were produced, that’s around 97% of the oil and 34% of gas produced in Germany. On 1 January 2016 gas reserves stood at some 67 billion cubic metres and oil reserves at around 8.4 million tonnes.
Along with conventional energy resources, tapping into deep geothermal energy will be increasingly important. This is where Niedersachsen’s decades of experience and expertise in oil and gas drilling will help open up this domestic energy resource.
Moreover, with its extensively surveyed and suitable geological structures Niedersachsen offers excellent potential for underground energy storage, especially to balance the market and demand for electricity from offshore wind power (power-to-gas).