Wintershall in the Netherlands
In the Dutch sector of the North Sea, Wintershall Noordzee operates around 20 offshore production platforms and is one of the largest natural gas producers in the region. It currently produces around 12.400 boe (barrels of oil equivalent) per day. The Southern North Sea is one of Wintershall's traditional core regions for producing natural gas and crude oil. Through its 50% joint venture company, Wintershall Noordzee B.V., the Kassel Germany based company has already been active in the region since 1965.
Approx. Number, effective January 2016
Wintershall's largest natural gas production platform in the Dutch seas is the F16-A. It can process up to 6 million cubic meters of natural gas per day, enough capacity to absorb the volumes from the neighboring field E18-A.
Some of the latest developments since 2014 include nine wells in the Dutch sector of the North Sea, whereby Wintershall Noordzee is the operator for six of them. In 2015, Wintershall Noordzee launched a new gas production facility, the small L6-B platform, in the Dutch North Sea. The field development, located in a restricted military area, was made possible by a unique minimalist platform design. In the spring of 2018, Wintershall found gas in the Andalusite field and is now connecting it to the neighboring D12 platform.
Brighter future for crude oil production
In future, natural gas production in the Netherlands is set to be supplemented with a crude oil component. A key element of this is the Rembrandt oil discovery, named after the Dutch painter. Rembrandt is located 120 kilometers north of Den Helder within exploration license F17a. The Rembrandt reservoir is one of the largest oil discoveries in recent years in the southern North Sea and is complemented by the adjacent Vermeer oil field. Both discoveries are currently undergoing further analysis. At the same time, Wintershall Noordzee is setting the course for their development and in May 2016 received a production permit for Rembrandt from the Dutch authorities. Wintershall Noordzee is currently evaluating the possible development of both fields.
Ecology & economy in harmony
The fact that environmental protection and cost-effectiveness in natural gas production are not mutually exclusive is illustrated by the E18-A production platform, which is one of several Wintershall Noordzee projects. Much of the facility consists of the previously decommissioned P14-A gas production platform, which was dismantled and disassembled before resuming operations in 2009 in block E18-A following its full-scale conversion. Given that the useful life of the E18-A gas field is drawing to a close, Wintershall Noordzee is considering the possible further use of the upper parts of the platform for the future development of the Sillimanite natural gas reservoir on the British continental shelf.
Center for Remote Controlled Operations
Together with the Wingate platform in the British North Sea, Ravn in the Danish North Sea and the German A6-A platform, 22 platforms and facilities are monitored by the Center for Remote Controlled Operations (RCO) in Den Helder. This enables the company to increase its operational efficiency and effectiveness. The RCO headquarters is an essential prerequisite for the economic production of smaller reservoirs in the southern North Sea.
In addition, Rijswijk near The Hague is home to the company-wide competence center for offshore technology as well as for exploration and development in shallow water areas. The expansion of offshore oil and gas production expertise is critical to developing increasingly complex reservoirs. This wealth of experience is also used in activities in other regions of the world.
The F16-A production platform in the Dutch sector of the North Sea
The F16-A, Wintershall Noordzee’s largest production platform in the Dutch North Sea, began production at the beginning of 2005. The gas platform is 27 meters high with seven stories and weighs 3,600 tons. The gas produced is air-cooled and dried using facilities on board the platform. It is then transported via an existing pipeline system to shore. F16-A is a manned platform and is fully self-sufficient: its crew of generally six people, plus a chef and a steward, produces their own drinking water through a desalination plant. A mini power station generates electricity using natural gas from the field.