Sillimanite gas field successfully comes on stream in the Southern North Sea
- Joint venture of Wintershall Dea and Gazprom EP International operates cross-border gas production in UK and the Netherlands
- Best-case example for sustainable platform recycling
- Diverse project pipeline in Southern North Sea
Wintershall Noordzee B.V. (a Joint Venture of Wintershall Dea and Gazprom EP International) has successfully started gas production from its operated Sillimanite field. Discovered in June 2015, the unitized gas field stretches across the UK and the Dutch Continental Shelves and is located approximately 200 kilometers off the coast of Den Helder. “With first gas from Sillimanite we once more underline our ability to successfully explore for hydrocarbons and transfer development projects successfully into production. As Sillimanite will increase the amount of gas produced in Europe, it underlines Wintershall Dea’s capabilities as Europe’s leading, independent gas and oil producer”, says Hugo Dijkgraaf, Chief Technology Officer and Board Member at Wintershall Dea.
Third life for platform topside
Wintershall Noordzee, active for over 50 years as a full cycle operator in exploration, development, production and decommissioning, has for the second time recycled the topside of its recently decommissioned E18-A platform, formerly P14-A topside, in the Sillimanite project. “As part of our sustainability programme, we pay highest attention to the re-use of offshore platforms where the production has ceased. In this way, we can further improve our company’s environmental footprint and at the same time keep our operations cost-efficient. Giving this platform topside a third life, now at Sillimanite is a best-case example for our industry”, says Dijkgraaf. “In addition, Sillimanite will be monitored 24/7 from the Remote-Control Operations Center in Den Helder. This enables us to make our operations even leaner and more cost efficient. The project was delivered safely, within just 16 months from the investment decision”, concludes Dijkgraaf.
Diverse project pipeline
Besides Sillimanite, Wintershall Noordzee plans to further invest in activities in the Southern North Sea: “We have a diverse project pipeline in the Southern North Sea ahead of us! With the Dutch Rembrandt/Vermeer oil developments we plan another exciting project. We are currently in the Define Phase and we plan for the final investment decision late 2020. Additionally, we are also evaluating the development potential of the Greater Ravn Area in Denmark”, says Dijkgraaf.
The development concept for Rembrandt/Vermeer will be a proven Southern North Sea type shallow water installation. On Vermeer, an integrated wellhead, process, utility and living quarters platform on top of a subsea storage tank as well as an offloading installation for oil export with shuttle tankers will be built. On Rembrandt, a normally unmanned wellhead platform with minimal facilities is planned. All projects help Wintershall Dea to secure the European energy supply via domestic production.
About Wintershall Dea
With the merger of Wintershall Holding GmbH and DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG, two successful companies with a long tradition have now formed Europe's leading independent natural gas and oil company: Wintershall Dea. The company with German roots and headquarters in Kassel and Hamburg searches for and produces gas and oil in 13 countries worldwide in an efficient and responsible manner. With activities in Europe, Russia, Latin America and the MENA region (Middle East & North Africa), Wintershall Dea has a global upstream portfolio and, with its participation in natural gas transport, is also active in the midstream business.
Wintershall Dea stands for more than 120 years of experience as an operator and project partner along the entire E&P value chain. The company employs around 4,000 people worldwide from over 60 nations. The company plans to increase its average daily production from around 590,000 barrels of oil equivalent to around 750,000 barrels by 2023.