Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, Dr Philipp Rösler, and the Minister for Economic Affairs of the German federal state of Lower Saxony, Jörg Bode, on Friday, August 10, visited the Mittelplate Drilling and Production Island in the Wadden Sea tidelands of Schleswig-Holstein.
Mittelplate is Germany’s only offshore oil-production facility and it is operated by RWE Dea AG.
Together with the CEO of RWE AG, Peter Terium, and the CEO of RWE Dea AG, Thomas Rappuhn, Minister Rösler and Minister Bode set sail from Cuxhaven and headed for Mittelplate. “The production from the Mittelplate oil field contributes towards securing Germany’s energy supply, as well as being a vital economic factor for the region,” said Rösler. About 57% of Germany’s crude production comes from the Mittelplate oil field, which has a record of incident-free production stretching back almost 25 years.
“We plan to continue to invest in our domestic production, like here on Mittelplate, in an effort to secure our national energy supply – it is part and parcel of our deep commitment towards supporting Germany’s energy transition,” said Peter Terium.
“Through our subsidiary RWE Dea and the good growth prospects for the oil and gas sector, we are well positioned as a group.”
RWE Dea AG (as operator) and its partner Wintershall Holding AG have invested over a billion euros since the start of production in the year 1987. About 1,000 jobs depend directly on this domestic source of oil.
“Our production, safety and environmental concepts are exemplary, and Mittelplate is acknowledged as a model project around the world,” explained Thomas Rappuhn.
Safe and environmentally compatible oil production in the ecologically sensitive “Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea Tidelands” national park continued to be developed thanks to numerous innovations. A great many solutions for the optimised drilling of wells and to ensure high-level production were developed and implemented specifically for Mittelplate.
Additional crude oil reserves expected in northern Germany
In order to keep up production in the long term, RWE Dea is planning to explore the prospective area off the coast of the German federal states of Schleswig–Holstein and Lower Saxony: it is where RWE Dea expects to find additional deposits, near the Mittelplate oil field and off the coast of Lower Saxony, off Cuxhaven. To investigate these prospects RWE Dea, acting as operator for two consortiums, is currently planning to drill exploration wells at a total of four drilling sites. The aim in drilling these wells is to confirm the existence of assumed reserves totalling around 23 million cubic metres of crude oil, and to gather information in the event that the deposits are to be exploited at a later stage. To do so would not require the installation of additional production facilities in the Wadden Sea tidelands, since production would be exclusively from the mainland or from Mittelplate Island. Detailed application documentation for this exploration project has already been submitted in both federal states.
Press Release, August 13, 2012