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26.01.2018

Wintershall lays foundation for developing further oil reserves in the County of BentheimOil from Emlichheim has a future

Drill tower oil preserves Wintershall
© Wintershall/Christian Burkert

Hanover/Emlichheim. Wintershall is expanding its crude oil production at its Emlichheim site in Lower Saxony (County of Bentheim). "With a 3D seismic survey we're now laying the foundation for developing additional oil reserves on the German-Dutch border," said Andreas Scheck, head of Wintershall Deutschland, at the company's traditional New Year's reception in Emlichheim. "Emlichheim has a future! We're making sure of that with our current projects," said Scheck.

Reservoir simulations have revealed that the Emlichheim oil field has additional untapped reserves. A cutting-edge, high-resolution 3D seismic survey, which is set to be completed by the end of February 2018, will allow Wintershall to plan new wells along the German-Dutch border, emphasized Scheck. Emlichheim in Lower Saxony, which is one of the largest and most tradition-steeped oil production sites in Germany, has produced oil almost constantly for the last 70 years. This is globally unique and, in particular, is thanks to the ever-evolving steam flooding technology.

Wintershall already successfully completed a drilling campaign in the summer of 2017. With 13 new wells, the company is expanding production in the western part of Germany's largest existing onshore oil field. These are connected to the Bentheim Sandstone oil reservoir, which lies at a depth of 700 to 900 meters. Wintershall has invested a total of 30 million euros. "We’ve successfully commenced operation of the wells. These are now making a significant contribution to the oil production. We're very proud about that," said Horst Prei, Wintershall's Operations Manager in Emlichheim.

The results of the newly started 3D seismic survey will enable new wells to be planned very precisely at a later point. Across an area of 37 square kilometers – both on the German and the Dutch side, Wintershall is using the seismic impulse method to measure the subsurface and obtain an accurate picture of the oil field. The sound sources are located in the ground. State-of-the-art wireless geophones are used as the signal receivers.

"Our new drilling completed in 2017 and the ongoing 3D seismic survey form part of an overall strategy to keep production in Emlichheim fit for the future," said Prei. In addition, Wintershall is also looking for recoverable reserves outside the main Emlichheim field. "New seismic data suggests that oil reserves still lurk in the local district of Haselaar, where production was already carried out in the 1960s. We want to take a closer look," said Prei.

"The Emlichheim site shows that crude oil from Lower Saxony – and in particular from Emlichheim – has a future," said Andreas Scheck. "This is making an important contribution to the energy provision. Furthermore, we're also establishing ourselves as a technology center for Wintershall worldwide, creating jobs in the region, investing in the training of young people, and generating revenue for the federal state and local communities," emphasized Scheck.

Wintershall Deutschland, which is based in Barnstorf, Lower Saxony, forms the center of Wintershall's exploration and production activities. It also provides important know-how on modern drilling and production techniques for use worldwide. The company has been producing domestic crude oil since 1930. It has produced natural gas since 1951. Among other things, Wintershall is the operator of the only gas production platform in the German North Sea (A6-A) and also has a 50 percent share in Germany's largest oil field, Mittelplate, which is situated off the North Sea coast. In addition, it also produces domestic energy around Barnstorf in the rural District of Diepholz, in Emlichheim (County of Bentheim), in Landau in der Pfalz and in Aitingen/Schwabmüchen near Augsburg. Wintershall Deutschland employs 400 members of staff.

Wintershall Holding GmbH, based in Kassel, Germany, is a wholly owned subsidiary of BASF in Ludwigshafen. The company has been active in the extraction of natural resources for 120 years, and in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas for over 85 years. Wintershall focuses on selected core regions where the company has built up a high level of regional and technological expertise. These are Europe, Russia, North Africa, South America, and increasingly the Middle East region. The company wants to expand its business further with exploration and production, selected partnerships, innovation and technological competence. Wintershall employs about 2,000 staff worldwide from 50 nations and is now Germany’s largest, internationally active crude oil and natural gas producer.

Wintershall. Shaping the future.

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