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See what we do
Wintershall Noordzee employs over 200 professionals in various departments, all of whom are ambitious experts in their field who enjoy working for Wintershall Noordzee. If you would like to know how Marten Bron mastered the art of petrophysics, or what drives Jorien Schaaf to optimize sharing her geophysical data, please click on their pictures to find out! 

Esteban Muñoz

Asset Manager and Lead for Stimulation, Oil field Chemistry & Production Technology
After spending his childhood in Argentina, the country of his father, Esteban Muñoz decided to follow his passion and study petroleum engineering in Leoben, Austria – the country of his mother.

Esteban Muñoz is responsible for a tight gas field (daisy chain) in the North Sea, and in charge of the Stimulation team, Production Chemistry and Production Technology projects. He was recently promoted to the position of Asset Manager and feels that it is the multidisciplinary approach at Wintershall Noordzee that is conducive to career development.

Wide spectrum
‘At Wintershall, we are continuously looking for new opportunities and innovations to increase day-to-day production. Within three years from now, we plan to start operating a new tight gas producer.
For this purpose, we recently launched a multidisciplinary study involving over fifteen professionals. The study involves seismic interpretation, static modelling, 3D geomodelling, dynamic modelling, drilling and facilities engineering. I personally get a lot of exposure and interaction with the various disciplines I’m working with. You get the opportunity to be exposed to all kinds of information the upstream requires to make a project successful.’
Success factor
‘One of the main success factors of Wintershall Noordzee is its multidisciplinary approach. Our people are exposed to projects from day one. As we are a medium-sized company, talents and expertise are readily recognized in our community. This is actually very helpful for career development.’

SPEAD programme
‘I was first introduced to Wintershall when I was studying in Leoben, Austria. Wintershall offered young engineers a very interesting and challenging opportunity to take part in the two-year SPEAD programme, which offers training on the job in projects with various operating companies around the world. Today, ten years down the road, I can personally confirm that this is indeed an excellent opportunity for young graduates!’

Mark Ferguson

Asset Manager of the greater Wingate area
‘We stand united as a team’

After six years of working in Buenos Aires as a liaison officer with Germany for Argentine sub-surface projects, including participations with Total and YPF, Mark Ferguson returned to the Netherlands in 2013. Last year, he was appointed Asset Manager of the greater Wingate area.

Ingenious solutions
‘Wingate, located in the UK, is one of our most important assets. This platform produces three million cubic metres of gas a day, but as wells gradually produce less and less, our philosophy is to add a new well every year.
The plummeting oil and gas prices, however, present us with a challenge to find “lean and mean” solutions to reduce development costs. You can imagine that on a project costing, say, € 50 million, saving 10% really makes a big difference. So we get together with the geologists, reservoir engineers, drillers and the people in construction and production to look for cost-cutting solutions – such as developing a field with a platform without a helicopter deck. Then there is the matter of applying for permits and a whole range of legal issues to be solved timely. All of this requires teamwork, and at Wintershall, that is what we aim to do best – working efficiently as a team.’

Securing a good future
‘One of the things I really like about Wintershall is how the older generation unites behind the cause of securing continuity for the benefit of the younger generation, so they will still have a job in the future.’ Are you one of the older generation? ‘Well, yes, I am 63 years old. In another two years’ time, I’ll be lowering my handicap!’

Jorien Schaaf

Exploration Geophysicist
In 2008, Jorien Schaaf started working at Wintershall as an Exploration Geophysicist. Last year, she was asked to serve as the coordinator for the geophysical team.

Transfer of information
‘Good communication between the various teams and departments is essential. Our team collects and processes geophysical data acquired offshore. Geologists use these data to identify potential oil and gas accumulations. So it is very important to ensure that this information is properly transferred. As a coordinator, I am in constant contact with the other specialists. I understand their technical issues and anticipate their needs.’
No macho culture
‘Sure, the oil business is still a man’s world. I have known that since my college years at Delft University of Technology. Nevertheless, Wintershall is not dominated by a macho culture. Indeed, I see a growing influx of female engineering graduates. So things are definitely moving in the right direction!’

Get the job done!
‘The key is to get the job done. When and where you do it is less important. Some people like to start early, while others prefer to start later in the day. That is your own responsibility. Occasionally, specific offshore activities, such as seismic acquisition, require us to be on call around the clock and work overtime, but in general it is a daytime job.’ 

Pieter de Graeff

HSE and Permitting Manager
Pieter de Graeff leads two teams: a team of health, safety and environmental specialists with a focus on minimizing risks, and a team of permitting advisors who request and maintain operational permits and consents from the various governments involved (of the Netherlands, the UK, Germany and Denmark) and focus on maintaining and improving the relations with these governments.

Pragmatic focus
‘In this business, it is extremely important to minimize risks, of course. That is why the HSE team consists of experts in a wide variety of fields, including process safety, environmental legislation, operational and occupational safety, and two offshore HSE engineers who carry out helicopter deck and platform inspections and assist in the planning of large operations. Usually, HSE professionals have received a lot of training in safety and security. With me, it is just the opposite. I studied Maritime Technology at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and have a number of years of experience working as a navigator at sea. I find that this background, in combination with my passion for technology and operations, actually helps me a lot to keep a pragmatic focus on technical possibilities. When we build or modify a platform, we need to decide on the best options for the company and for the people who work there.’
Constant motion
‘Over the years, Wintershall has achieved significant growth. It is incredibly interesting to be part of a company that is in constant motion. Obviously, this requires extraordinary professionalism from the teams. I try to be a sparring partner for them, facilitating their ability to solve issues and problems on their own. I believe that this approach makes the work more challenging and interesting for them, and helps to build their confidence. Operating in this field where technology meets human creativity has been a marvellous experience for me. I have discovered talents in myself I never knew I possessed!’

Ronald Laarhoven

Procurement Manager
Ronald Laarhoven is Procurement Manager and responsible for everything from the procurement of nuts and bolts to leasing drilling rigs.

From Document Controller to Procurement Manager

After graduating in Industrial Engineering and Management, Ronald joined an engineering firm, where he gained 10 years of experience. This firm focused predominantly on downstream activities. Ronald: ‘I started out as a Document Controller and was later on promoted to positions including Expediter, Buyer, Lead Buyer, Project Purchasing Manager and Contracts Engineer before I moved on to the position of Project Procurement Manager. I joined Wintershall Noordzee about a decade ago. After a start as Senior Buyer, I am now heading the Procurement department and am responsible for an annual purchasing volume of between € 250 and € 350 million.’
Commitment and loyalty
‘Our department employs 15 people, four of whom are part-timers. We focus on the procurement of materials and equipment for drilling and exploration, construction, and installation and production purposes. Wintershall is a very active and pragmatic company that offers a wealth of opportunities in a very pleasant atmosphere. Our people show commitment and loyalty to the company, and we all take pride in our collective achievements.’

The challenge for the future is the development of F17
‘F17 is a partial block in the North Sea, approximately 100 kilometres north of Den Helder, where oil was discovered. We need to look into possibilities to optimize its development. If it proves to be economically profitable, oil is likely to become a key component of our future. This would give our organization, that currently mainly focuses on gas fields, an enormous boost.’

Stefan Froud

"There is a lot of knowledge sharing"
Stefan Froud’s main goal as a geologist is to improve geological understanding of the focus area to help find more oil and gas reserves and maximize recovery from existing oil and gas fields.

Emphasis on technology
‘During my two-year rotational graduate placement at Wintershall, I worked in offices in Germany, Russia, Norway and the Netherlands. I chose Wintershall Noordzee because it is one of the bigger offices with a wealth of experience in exploration of the North Sea and a strong emphasis on technology. The day-to-day job involves a lot of predictions and communication of ideas, which makes it challenging to make the right decisions but highly interesting as well.’
New ideas
‘I am surrounded by skilled people. There are a good number of senior professionals, combined with talented younger professionals with new ideas and fresh energy, and I enjoy working with both of these groups. About half my team are from the Netherlands, the other half are from elsewhere, which ensures that we are never short of different viewpoints. The Dutch office has a very open and friendly culture. That makes it easy to adapt and integrate as a group.’

A lot to learn
‘I enjoy working at the Dutch office. We share a lot of knowledge here, which helps me to develop my skills and grow as an individual. I plan to stay here for at least another four years, building on my technical background, and then, depending on my personal situation, it will be time for a new step in my career with the Wintershall corporation.’

Jan Gabe van der Weide

Senior Exploration Geophysicist
Jan Gabe van der Weide is a Senior Exploration Geophysicist at Wintershall Global Support BV. He focuses on regional geological studies to generate, rank and advise on new business opportunities around the world.

Sharing ideas
‘I have worked for Wintershall since 2002. In 2008, I switched to Global Support, where I support both the head office and the various OPCOs. I get to meet a lot of interesting people from all over the world, and I enjoy sharing ideas and knowledge with them.’

Make a difference
‘Wintershall is just the right size. It is big enough to make a difference, and small enough to get to know one another. I do not want to be a stranger in my own company. Geoscientists are a special type of people. We all love our jobs and are fuelled by a passion for nature and geology.’
Getting involved
‘Geology and geophysics are broad areas of expertise. A number of skill groups combine several disciplines. When you come up with something new, this is the place to share it. The skill groups encourage interaction between the various specialists. This is the best and fastest way to get involved in the process.’

(Best kept secret…)
‘Not many people know this, but our office here in Rijswijk was actually built almost on top of an old abandoned oil field!’