Photo: D12-B platform; Source: Wintershal Noordzee

Wintershall Noordzee starts gas production from second Sillimanite well

  • Exploration & Production

Wintershall Noordzee, a joint venture of Wintershall Dea and Gazprom, has started gas production from its second B2 production well at the Sillimanite field offshore the Netherlands.

Wintershall Noordzee started drilling the second Sillimanite production well at the beginning of February. Shortly afterwards, the world was confronted with the challenges caused by Covid-19.

Robert Frimpong, managing director of Wintershall Noordzee, said: “Nobody could have foreseen the impact the outbreak of Covid-19 would have on our activities. However, by rapidly adapting to a new reality and through perseverance, we have managed to bring this new well on stream without any incidents and within budget and timeframe”.

The Sillimanite gas field, located some 200 kilometres off the coast of Den Helder, was discovered in 2015 and started production in early 2020.

It is an unusual field as it lies directly on the maritime border of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. An agreement between the UK and the Netherlands was needed before the Sillimanite development could proceed.

According to the company, the production not only starts according to the planned schedule but the drilling result is also as good as expected and strongly supports the first Sillimanite well.

Maersk Resolve at Sillimanite field; Source: Wintershall Noordzee
Maersk Resolve at Sillimanite field; Source: Wintershall Noordzee

Producing in line with the expected productivity, this well is a welcome addition to the first well which came into production earlier this year”, Frimpong added.

The produced gas from the second well will also be transported through the newly laid 12-kilometre-long pipeline connecting the B platform to the existing Neptune-operated production platform, both located in Dutch waters.

From there, the gas will be transported through the Noordgastransport (NGT) gas transportation system to shore.

Wintershall Noordzee added that it had further plans with the gas field. Namely, the company decided to go straight ahead with the drilling of the Sillimanite South exploration well, which is currently underway.

If all goes according to plan, this third well can add gas to the export pipeline in the fourth quarter of this year.

However, we experience an increasingly challenging environment in the Southern North Sea, with new exploration activities at a record low. 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, developments and sustenance of infrastructure essential to the energy transition”, added Robert Frimpong.

It is worth noting that Wintershall Noordzee as the operator holds a 39.7 per cent stake in the Sillimanite development.

Its partners are EBN with a 25 per cent stake, Gazprom International UK with 19.9 per cent, Neptune Energy with 2.3 per cent, Neptune Netherlands Participation with 1.6 per cent, Neptune E&P UK with 3.6 per cent,  ONE-Dyas with 3.1 per cent, and ONE-Dyas UK with 4.8 per cent.

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