Photo: Sillimanite D12-B platform; Source: Wintershall Dea

Wintershall Noordzee drills third Sillimanite well

Wintershall Noordzee, a 50:50 Joint Venture of Wintershall Dea and Gazprom, has drilled the Sillimanite South field discovery well and directly converted it into a development sidetrack.

The unitized Sillimanite gas field in the Southern North Sea 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.

It was the third well drilled in sequence after the two Sillimanite Unit field development wells were successfully brought into production earlier this year, Wintershall Dea said on Monday.

The first well was brought into production in February 2020 and the second one in June 2020.

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Wintershall Noordzee is currently finalizing the hook-up activities to the D12-B production platform situated close to the Anglo-Dutch border in Dutch territorial waters.

From there, the produced gas will be transported via the Neptune operated D15-A production platform, through the NGT gas transportation system to shore.

“It is without a doubt a unique achievement of Wintershall Noordzee, Maersk Drilling, and our many supply-chain and Joint Venture partners to develop this exploration well into a production well in one flow”, said Robert Frimpong, Managing Director of Wintershall Noordzee B.V.

“The covid-19 pandemic has not stopped us or slowed us down. Our clear goal was to deliver, and that is exactly what we have done”, Frimpong added.

Last drilling activity on Dutch Continental Shelf

According to Wintershall Dea, with the finalization of this third well, drilling activities on the Dutch Continental Shelf have come to a temporary standstill.

With the increasingly challenging environment in the mature Southern North Sea, new exploration activities are at a record low.

The German company said that improving the investment climate is, therefore, crucial to secure the continued success of the Dutch E&P sector.

It requires improved framework conditions that encourage and support continued exploration, development, and sustenance of infrastructure essential to the energy transition, Wintershall Dea stated.

“There is still potential in the Dutch North Sea, but the conditions and circumstances need to change rapidly”, said Frimpong.