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, six of which it serves as principle operator. 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.
Brighter future for crude oil production
It is projected that natural gas production in the Netherlands will be increasingly supplemented by a crude oil component in the future. A key component of this is the discovery of the F17a oil field off the Dutch coast, some 120 km north of Den Helder, which has been named after the Dutch painter "Rembrandt". With 30 million barrels of oil equivalent, the Rembrandt reservoir is one of the largest oil discoveries in the Southern North Sea; as principle operator, Wintershall Noordzee has a 30 percent share. This discovery was supplemented by the discovery of a neighboring oil potential, also named after a famous Dutch painter, namely “Vermeer”.
The discovery of both fields and their possible upside potential is presently undergoing further analysis. At the same time, Wintershall Noordzee is setting the course for their development.
Ecology & economy in harmony
The E18-A production platform illustrates how environmental protection and cost-effectiveness are an integral part of gas production for Wintershall Noordzee. A majority of the facility consists of the decommissioned gas production platform P14-A, which was taken down and dismantled from its position in the Dutch North Sea and, after a full-scale conversion, resumed its work in block E18-A in 2009. Unlike with a new construction, a majority of the material could be re-used during the renovation which saved both time and money.
Center for Remote Controlled Operations
In Den Helder, Netherlands, Wintershall Noordzee operates a modern center for the remote monitoring of offshore platforms – the Center for Remote Controlled Operations (RCO). Two staff members at the center monitor in rotational cycles some 20 platforms around the clock: these include platforms in the Dutch North Sea along with one in the German and Danish sector and the Wingate platform in the UK sector.
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.