Wintershall to fire up Maria field a year in advance

Germany’s Wintershall has received approval to start production from its Maria development offshore Norway in December, a year earlier that originally expected.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), a government agency responsible for the regulation of the petroleum resources on the Norwegian continental shelf, has granted consent for the start-up of production from the Maria field in the Norwegian Sea.

NPD said on Thursday that the Maria development would come on stream almost one year ahead of the original plan, at reduced costs, and with slightly increased oil reserves.

According to the agency, production start-up is planned for December 2017, some ten months ahead of the original plan, which was for start-up in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Also, the development investment costs are just over NOK 12 billion ($1.46 billion), while the anticipated cost stated in the plan for development and operations (PDO) was NOK 15.7 billion ($1.9 billion).

Kalmar Ildstad, assistant director for development and operations in the Norwegian Sea, said: “With a total of four host facilities, the project is also a good example of the value creation generated from good collaboration with the licensees in surrounding infrastructure.”

The Maria field, located some 200 kilometers from Kristiansund, Norway, is operated by Wintershall with a 50 percent interest. Wintershall’s partners in the field are Petoro, with 30 percent interest, and Centrica Resources, with the remaining 20 percent.

The field has been developed with two seabed templates, each with four slots. The wellstream from Maria will be transported via a seabed pipeline to Kristin for processing and metering.

The stabilized oil will then be routed to the Åsgard C – FSU for storage and offloading. The rich gas will be transported through the Åsgard Transport System to Kårstø, where NGL and condensate will be extracted.

Gas for gas lift will be supplied from Åsgard B via the Tyrihans D template. Injection of sulfate-reduced water from Heidrun TLP will be used for pressure support.

In Wintershall’s estimate, total recoverable reserves at the field are 28.9 million standard cubic meters (Sm3) of oil, 1.32 million tonnes NGL, and 2.31 billion Sm3 gas. According to the NPD, Maria is expected to produce for 22 years although Wintershall has previously stated that it would produce for 23 years.

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