Wintershall ups Maria Field recoverable resources estimate

German oil and gas producer Wintershall has announced updated, higher recoverable resource estimates for its operated Maria Field. 

Following intensive internal studies, Wintershall now estimates that the planned technical recoverable resources will reach about 180 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe). The updated estimate comes ahead of the company’s submission of its “Impact Assessment” as part of the Plan for Development and Operation (PDO) process.

This means that the estimate has increased by about 40 million boe (previously 140 million boe: 130 million barrels of oil and about 10 million boe of associated gas). The new assumptions are the result of extensive laboratory tests and studies as well as model calculations. With a 50 percent share, Wintershall is the operator of the Maria Field, which according to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate is among the three largest development projects in the planning stage on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Other partners in the project are Petoro AS (30%) and Centrica Resources (Norge) AS (20%).

”The higher expected recoverable resources for Maria confirm our belief that we’re on the right track with our growth strategy in Norway,”said Bernd Schrimpf, Managing Director of Wintershall Norge.It is through own discoveries like Maria that we’re looking to grow in Norway in future, which is why we’re working closely together with our licence partners and regional partners to get these discoveries moved to the production phase as quickly as possible.”

Maria is scheduled to start production in 2018. Maria is Wintershall’s first operated discovery in Norway that the company is progressing to the development and production phases. The transaction concluded with Statoil at the beginning of December has already enabled Wintershall to increase its daily production in Norway by 50 percent to around 60,000 boe.

Wintershall has recently awarded the contract for the subsea production system for Maria, which is worth NOK 1.8 billion (USD 243,9m). Furthermore, the development of and production from Maria could also help extend the lifetime of connected fields in the area.

Wintershall discovered the field in 2010. An appraisal well in 2012 proved the significance of the hydrocarbon find.

“Since the appraisal well we have done a lot of good work that has supported these increased volumes. We have done laboratory experiments that show the water saturation in the reservoir is lower than we originally thought. That leads to higher in-place volumes. We have also shown through detailed reservoir simulations that we can improve the recovery factor,” said Hugo Dijkgraaf, Maria Project Director at Wintershall Norge.

The new technical production profile is made up of around 150 million barrels of oil, 10 million boe of gas, and 20 million boe of natural gas liquids (NGL). It is planned to submit the Plan for Development and Operation (PDO) to Norwegian authorities in the first half of 2015.

Maria is located in a mature area in the Norwegian Sea, 20 kilometres east of the Kristin Field and 45 kilometres south of the Heidrun Field. Under the selected development solution, the Maria reservoir will be linked via a subsea tieback to the Kristin, Heidrun and Åsgard B production platforms via two templates located on the ocean floor.