Exploration The search for oil and gas

Natural gas and crude oil are located deep underground, concealed in rock layers. Wintershall Dea relies on state-of-the-art exploration methods and digital possibilities to find them.

Around 2,000 samples a year from all Wintershall Dea production regions worldwide are processed at the lab in Barnstorf.

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Core Business Exploration Wintershall Dea
Core Business Exploration Wintershall Dea
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Wintershall Dea/Thor Oliversen

Whether it’s in the Sahara, Patagonia or Siberia, natural gas and crude oil are often located in regions that are difficult to access and have an extreme climate, or deep below the sea. Finding new reservoirs requires a good understanding of how resources are formed. In addition, the geological conditions must be analysed as accurately as possible. State-of-the-art exploration methods and digital possibilities point the way to the resources and supply a very good idea of the subsurface, even before the first test well is drilled.

3D SEISMIC SURVEYS CREATE AN EXACT PICTURE OF THE GEOLOGICAL LAYERS

Wintershall Dea uses 3D seismic surveys to find undiscovered reservoirs. Artificial sound waves are transmitted into the depths from special vehicles or ships. They are reflected back as an echo, which differs depending on the composition of the rock. Sensitive measuring instruments receive the signals and convert them into electrical impulses. 3D seismic surveys deliver a three-dimensional image of the geological layers. They help estimate the recoverable quantities and enable the wells to be drilled at the ideal spot.

Wintershall Dea Seismic Truck
Wintershall Dea Seismic Truck

3D seismic surveys deliver a three-dimensional image.

Credit
Wintershall Dea/Frederik Laux
SEISMIC SURVEY

70,000

METRES OF DRILL CORES ARE STORED IN THE DRILL CORE WAREHOUSE IN BARNSTORF.

8,000 M

UNDERGROUND IS WHERE THE DEEPEST RESERVOIRS THAT CAN CURRENTLY BE PRODUCED ARE LOCATED.

Max.

97 M.

BARRELS OF OIL EQUIVALENT IS THE ESTIMATED PRODUCTION VOLUME FROM THE BERGKNAPP FINDING.

Wintershall Dea Bohrkernlager
Wintershall Dea Bohrkernlager

Drill cores supply key information on gas and oil reservoirs. Wintershall Dea operates a cutting-edge central laboratory at Barnstorf to analyse them.

Credit
Wintershall Dea/Christian Burkert

HIGH-RESOLUTION INSIGHTS INTO DRILL CORES AND NATURAL GAS AND CRUDE OIL FIELDS

Wintershall Dea has operated a cutting-edge central laboratory at Barnstorf in Lower Saxony since 2018. It is equipped with a micro computer tomograph and electron microscope and so delivers high-precision 3D images of drill cores. The method is called Digital Rocks. All Wintershall Dea locations have access to the lab. It also includes the drill core warehouse, where 70,000 metres of drill cores from all over the world can be stored and analysed. The samples are the company’s “memory” and can even be re-evaluated decades later.

DIGITAL ROCKS

How leading-edge digital technology helps analyse the potential of gas and oil fields quickly, precisely and efficiently.

Credit
Wintershall Dea/mmpro
Wintershall Dea Labor Barnstorf
DIGITAL ROCKS

How leading-edge digital technology helps analyse the potential of gas and oil fields quickly, precisely and efficiently.

Credit
Wintershall Dea/mmpro
Wintershall Dea Control Centre
Wintershall Dea Control Centre

The use of artificial intelligence to develop models could soon render many exploration wells redundant.

Credit
Wintershall Dea/Frederik Laux

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE FOR DEVELOPING MODELS

Artificial intelligence could soon take over the task of processing data from seismic surveys. Wintershall Dea has launched an initial pilot project to enable that. An innovative software analyses data from seismic surveys. The system learns how to categorise, classify and recognise patterns. Finally, it creates detailed 3D models of large underground areas solely on the basis of seismic and exemplary drilling data – just as if drilling had been carried out everywhere. That saves time and money and is intended to help the experts gain an even better understanding of the reservoir.