Wintershall to boost German production

Wintershall is planning to fire up output from oil fields in Germany with the drilling of five new wells this year.

Wintershall, which is Germany’s largest producer of crude oil and natural gas will drill four wells in Emlichheim in Lower Saxony alone by autumn 2008.

After that the existing crude oil field in Aitingen south of Augsburg will be expanded by another exploration well.

Wintershall has been producing crude oil from Emlichheim, near the German-Dutch border, for more than 60 years, while the Bavarian field Aitingen south of Augsburg currently produces around 36,000 tons of crude oil and is the largest oil production operation in the pre-Alpine region.

The company said in a statement: “The aim of the new wells is to improve the development of existing deposits. One well was already sunk this year and in the late summer, concession holder Wintershall will start drilling two more wells together with its partner Exxon Mobil Deutschland.

“In addition, one of the existing production wells will now also be drilled horizontally. The well reaches a depth of about 800 meters, but the horizontal drilling begins at a depth of about 500 meters.

“Overall the well is 1,300 meters long. So far about ten percent of the crude oil in the block was recovered. But with the deployment of steam flooding technology and the horizontal drilling of the well, a production rate, the so-called ultimate recovery factor, of over 40% is in sight.”