Wintershall Dea Starts up UK-Dutch Gas Field
Germany's Wintershall Dea announced the start-up on February 20 of the Sillimanite gas field straddling the border between the Dutch and UK North Seas.
The field was discovered in June 2015 some 200 km from Den Helder and is operated by Wintershall Noordzee, Wintershall's joint venture with Russia's Gazprom.
"With first gas from Sillimanite we once more underline our ability to successfully explore for hydrocarbons and transfer development project successfully into production," Wintershall board member Hugo Dijkgraaf said in a statement.
A final investment decision (FID) on Sillimanite was taken 16 months ago. Its launch will provide a "third life" to the former P14-A platform topside, which has been recycled for a second time after recently being removed from the decommissioned E18-A platform in the Dutch North Sea.
Reusing platforms is not only good for Wintershall's environmental footprint but is also cost-efficient, the company said, with Dijkgraaf describing the topside's third use at Sillimanite as a "best-case example for the industry."
Sillimanite will be monitored from an onshore remote-control operations centre, according to Wintershall, lowering costs even further.
Wintershall Noordzee plans to invest further in the southern North Sea, Dijkgraaf continued, where the company has a "diverse project pipeline." An FID on the Rembrandt/Vermeer oil development in Dutch waters is due in late 2020, he said, and the company is also evaluating the potential of the Greater Ravn Area in Denmark.
Wintershall Dea was formed through the merger last year of Wintershall and Dea. The company aims to ramp up production to around 750,000 boe/day by 2023, up from 590,000 boe/day in 2018.