Core regions across the world

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The “lifecycle” of oil & gas fields

The service life of oil and gas fields is divided into different phases ranging from the discovery to the decommissioning. In each of these phases reservoir models and simulations play an important role, since these provide the basis for all investment decisions.



The exploration phase involves the search for oil and gas reservoirs by geologists and geophysicists using, for example, seismic surveys. This hopefully leads to successful exploratory drilling.

Seismic Surveys



In the evaluation phase, additional information about the field is collected – for example by drilling wells. It is then decided whether the field will be developed or not.



The development of the field until production starts is costly. The entire production is planned in detail and the production plants, infrastructure, etc are then designed and built.

Field Development



The service life of the fields varies – they can usually continue producing for between 10 and 40 years. As time passes, the oil recovery often requires some additional help, such as by using water injection.

Onshore Production


Enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods allow oil to still be produced when conventional production technologies no longer suffice.  The existing infrastructure and already developed fields can thus be commercially exploited for longer. All in all, around 50 percent of the natural oil in a reservoir can be brought to the surface in this way.

EOR steam flooding graphic Wintershall
During the 1940s oil was discovered in Emlichheim in Lower Saxony. The first well commenced production in 1944. The production reached a high point at the beginning of the 1950s and then threatened to drop off.

Steam flooding