Wintershall, Gazprom Launch Dutch Field
Wintershall Noordzee, a joint venture between Germany's Wintershall Dea and Russia's Gazprom, has brought on stream the Sillimanite South gas field in the Dutch North Sea, it said on January 12.
The Sillimanite South discovery well, D12-B3, has been converted into a production well. Gas flow began after the borehole was connected to the D12-B platform. From there supplies will be transported to shore via the Neptune Energy-operated D15-A platform and the Noordgastransport system.
"Delivery of a well directly from the exploration phase straight into the production phase is a unique performance in itself," Wintershall Noordzee's managing director Jone Hess said. "Doing so whilst having to operate under stringent measures due to the Covid-19 pandemic makes it even more so."
D12-B3 is the third well Wintershall Noordzee has commissioned in the last 12 months. It launched the first well at the adjacent Sillimanite field, straddling the border between Dutch and UK waters, in February 2020, followed by a second in June that year.
Wintershall Noordzee operates the Sillimanite and Sillimanite South deposits with a 39.5% interest, while Dutch state-owned EBN has 50% and Neptune 10.5%. The German-Russian joint venture operates 15 producing platforms and four subsea installations in the Dutch, UK, German and Danish sectors of the North Sea.
Wintershall Noordzee's progress comes at a difficult time for the Dutch upstream sector. In a recent episode of NGW's In a Nutshell podcast, Jo Peters, secretary general at the Netherlands Oil & Gas Exploration & Production Association, said producers were facing a perfect storm, citing coronavirus disruptions, weak gas prices, high carbon taxes and draconian rules on nitrogen emissions.