Wintershall eyes first half of 2018 for Maria start-up

Wintershall is working to enable the start of oil production from the Maria field offshore Norway in the first half of next year.  

Wintershall said on Tuesday that the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Søviknes, and Wintershall CEO, Mario Mehren, visited the Deepsea Stavanger rig in the Norwegian Sea on Tuesday, May 2 ahead of reservoir drilling on the Wintershall-operated Maria field.

Maria, Wintershall’s flagship development in Norway, is a subsea field that uses existing infrastructure to produce oil. Drilling of the six wells on the field began in March, and the top holes are now complete. Drilling towards the reservoir section is underway.

“The Maria project has so far had very good progress. If this continues, a startup in the first half of 2018 could be possible. With the drilling of the reservoir, we will be passing another critical milestone that moves us a step closer to first oil,” said Mehren.

“We have invested heavily in the country (Norway) and are now developing a field that will continue to return value to Wintershall and Norway for many years to come.”

Located in the Haltenbanken area of the Norwegian Sea, the Maria reservoir will be linked via subsea tieback to three existing platforms in the area. The Maria well-stream will go to the Kristin platform for processing while the supply of water for injection into the reservoir will come from the Heidrun platform and lift gas will be provided from Åsgard B via the Tyrihans subsea template.

Processed oil will be shipped to the Åsgard field for storage and offloading to shuttle tankers. Gas will be exported via the Åsgard transport system to Kårstø.

Drilling operations which are underway are due to last up to 580 days. Some 68 kilometers of pipelines and two subsea templates have already been installed with the remaining installations due in 2017. Platform modifications to Kristin and Heidrun and other offshore marine work is ongoing.

“Maria is a smart field solution that uses proven technology to get the most from existing infrastructure in the area. I am particularly pleased that we are delivering the field in a timely manner while also maintaining a strong HSE performance,” said Hugo Dijkgraaf, Wintershall Maria project director, who was also on board the Deepsea Stavanger.

Investments in the Maria development are estimated at around 15.3 billion NOK ($1.8 billion). Recoverable reserves on the field are estimated around 180 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), of which the majority is oil. First oil is expected in 2018, with a possible acceleration into the first half of the year.

The Maria field is located approximately 20 kilometers east of the Kristin field and about 45 kilometers south of the Heidrun field. Wintershall Norge is the operator of the license with a 50 percent share. Petoro has a 30 percent share, and Centrica owns the remaining 20 percent.

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