December 6, 2022


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Invest four billion - E24

Invest four billion – E24

There will be a number of development plans shelved this fall, which will be part of the favorable temporary tax rules. Now Wintershall Dea is ready with Maria 2, which will increase reserves in the field by 22 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Wintershall Dea and its partners are now presenting the development plan for the second phase of the Maria field, with an investment of NOK four billion.

On Tuesday, Wintershall Dea will hand over the revised development plan for the Maria field to Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland, along with representatives of partners Sval Energi and Petoro.

Located in Haltenbanken in the Norwegian Sea, the Maria field is the first off-the-shelf development in which Germany’s Wintershall Dea is the operator. Wintershall is owned by the German chemical company BASF and the investment company LetterOne.

– I am pleased to see the companies’ work to increase production from the Maria field is now crystallizing into a changing development and operation plan. Further development of the Maria field contributes to an increase in resources and the use of the created infrastructure that is important for the petroleum industry in Central Norway, Oil and Energy Minister Terje Asland says in a comment.

Managing Director Michael Zechner of Wintershall Dea Norge handed over the development plan to Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland on Tuesday.

– very positive

The oil industry will present a great deal of development plans this fall, in order to meet a new year deadline that will be covered by the favorable and provisional tax rules in the Norwegian Parliament.

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Norwegian production is expected to drop significantly by 2030 and especially 2040, and Asland is convinced that more oil extraction will be implemented to slow the decline.

– This is very important. Not least is further development of existing areas, which is very positive. This was a difficult find, but it shows how you can solve challenges when you work together in partnership. Aasland tells E24 that such projects are important for the further development of the Norwegian continental shelf.

In the second stage, Maria’s partners take measures to increase recovery. It includes a new well frame and new wells. Well frames are often installed on the seabed. They consist of steel tubes welded together and serve as the basis for various equipment, in addition to protecting wells, among other things, with trawls.

This is how the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate envisions the development of production on the Norwegian Continental Shelf until 2040, according to the Resources 2022 report.

It starts in the year 2025

Production from the second Maria phase is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2025, and will run until 2040.

The development of the second phase of the Maria submerged field will increase the field’s reserves by 22 million barrels of oil equivalent. If all this were oil, it would have a turnover of NOK 21 billion, at NOK 950 per barrel.

According to the Maria field, it contains mostly oil, but also some gas and condensate Norwegian Petroleum. Discovered in 2010, the field produces oil and gas via two rims of wells under the sea at a depth of 300 metres.

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The field was commissioned in 2017 and was initially good news for the industry. While many fields have been affected by delays and budget gaps, Mariah was released a year ahead of schedule. The development was also NOK 3.7 billion cheaper than assumed in the development plan, according to the report. Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

Struggling with pressure

Eventually, however, the Maria field struggled with pressure in the reservoir. The second phase of development will address some of these challenges.

– Maria project faced challenges from the beginning?

All projects have some challenges, including Maria. With all the experience we have gained from the measures we have already taken to build up pressure, we now have great confidence that Maria Phase 2 will perform as expected, Wintershall managing director Dea Norge tells E24.

It is reported that reserves in the field now amount to about 120 million barrels of oil equivalent, including the second stage. Originally, there were about 180 million barrels of oil equivalent in the field, but that has been modified after challenges in the reservoir.

– There were challenges in the contact between the water injection and the oil producing layers. This was hard to predict, but with the knowledge we have now, we have faith that we’ll tackle these challenges,” Zeichner says.

Chief Executive Michael Zechner at the Wintershall Dea and Minister for Oil and Energy Terje Aasland.

Strong project

Projects close to existing infrastructure are often profitable even at fairly low oil prices, and this is also true of Maria Phase II.

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– It’s a very powerful project, says Zechner.

– Now are you going to dig wells?

– We plan to drill at least three wells, and we are now working on maturing a fourth well, and we expect a decision to be made in February next year. We’ll install a frame with six well holes, so we can drill two more wells to extract more, Wintershall Dea manager says.

– The infidels were delayed because of the costs, do you see similar challenges?

– The prices of most of our projects have gone up due to the global situation, with the high cost of raw materials and labor. The costs are increasing. At Maria, we were very early in contracting, and so we were able to cap some of the cost increases.

supported by other domains

The Maria development is based on infrastructure in the Norwegian Sea and is powered by the Åsgard, Kristin, Heidrun and Tyrihans fields. Among other things, the field receives water from Heidrun and gas from Åsgard (via Tyrihans), which is pumped into the reservoir to increase pressure, while Kristen is the host platform.

Oil from the field is transported to the Åsgard field for storage and export, while the gas travels through Åsgard to the onshore Kårstø plant.

Wintershall Dea owns 50 percent of the Maria field and is the operator. Partner Betoro owns 30 percent, and Sval Energy 20 percent.