Wintershall Noordzee successfully adds new gas production to its portfolio 2nd Sillimanite production well brought on stream
Rijswijk. Wintershall Noordzee B.V. (a 50:50 Joint Venture of Wintershall Dea GmbH and Gazprom EP International) has successfully started gas production from D12-B2, the second well drilled in its operated cross-border development Sillimanite. Discovered in June 2015, the unitized gas field stretches across the UK and the Dutch Continental Shelvesand is located approximately 200 kilometers off the coast of Den Helder. “This is the second successful production well of this exceptional cross-border development project”, says Robert Frimpong, Managing Director of Wintershall Noordzee B.V. “Producing in line with the expected productivity, this well is a welcome addition to the first well which came into production earlier this year.”
Drilling activities in challenging times
Wintershall Noordzee 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.Wintershall Noordzee contracted the Maersk Resolve drilling rig to work on the development of the Sillimanite field. The produced gas from the D12-B2 well will also be transported through the newly laid 12-kilometre-long pipeline connecting the D12-B platform to the existing D15-A 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.
Drilling activities continue
Wintershall Noordzee still has further plans with the Sillimanite field. Having finalized the drilling activities of the first two production wells, the company is currently drilling the Sillimanite South exploration well. Having adapted all its activities to the ‘new normal’, Wintershall Noordzee together with Maersk Resolve feel confident to follow the chosen path. 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 conditionsthat encourages and supports continued exploration, developments and sustenance of infrastructure essential to the energy transition.” added Robert Frimpong.
The unitized Sillimanite gas field stretches across the UK and the Dutch continental shelves in licence block 44/19a on the UK side and blocks D12a and D12b on the Dutch side. A Treaty between the UK and Dutch governments entered into force in July 2018.
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%), ONE-Dyas UK Ltd (7.9%), Neptune (7.5%).