Successful production start at the second Sillimanite gas well in the Netherlands
Wintershall Noordzee B.V. has successfully started gas production from its second b2 production well at the own operated Sillimanite field in the Netherlands. The field is located approximately 200 kilometers off the coast of Den Helder.
Wintershall Noordzee, a 50:50 Joint Venture of Wintershall Dea and Gazprom EP International, commenced drilling the second Sillimanite production well at the beginning of February. Shortly afterwards, the world was confronted with the challenges caused by Covid-19. “Nobody could have foreseen the impact the outbreak of Covid-19 would have on our activities. However, by rapidly adapting to a new reality and through perseverance, we have managed to bring this new well on stream without any incidents and within budget and timeframe”, says Robert Frimpong, Managing Director of Wintershall Noordzee B.V.
The Sillimanite gas field, which was discovered in 2015 and started production in early 2020, has something very special: it lies directly on the maritime border of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom – a truly European project. An agreement between the UK and the Netherlands was needed before the Sillimanite development could proceed.
The production not only starts according to the planned schedule – the drilling result is also as good as expected and strongly supports the first Sillimanite well. “Producing in line with the expected productivity, this well is a welcome addition to the first well which came into production earlier this year”, adds Robert Frimpong.
The produced gas from the b2 well will also be transported through the newly laid 12-kilometre-long pipeline connecting the B platform to the existing production platform (operated by Neptune), both located in Dutch waters. From there, the gas will be transported through the NGT (Noordgastransport B.V.) gas transportation system to shore.
Wintershall Noordzee still has further plans with the gas field. Due to the success story of Sillimanite, the company decided to go straight ahead with the drilling of the Sillimanite South exploration well, which is currently underway. If all goes according to plan, this third well can add gas to the export pipeline in the fourth quarter of this year.
“However, we experience an increasingly challenged environment in the Southern North Sea, with new exploration activities at a record low. Improving the investment climate is therefore crucial to secure the continued success of the Dutch E&P sector. It requires improved framework conditions that encourages and supports continued exploration, developments and sustenance of infrastructure essential to the energy transition”, added Robert Frimpong.
Beside Wintershall Noordzee B.V. as operator (39.7%), unit-partners in the Sillimanite development are EBN B.V. (25%), Gazprom International UK Ltd (19.9%), Neptune Energy Netherlands BV (2.3%), Neptune Netherlands Participation BV (1.6%), Neptune E&P UK Ltd (3.6%) ONE-Dyas BV (3.1%) and ONEDyas UK Ltd (4.8%).