- Norway and Russia play a central role in enhancing our portfolio
- First Wintershall-operated natural gas production in the United Kingdom
- Expansion of upstream activities with Gazprom in Achimov projects in Russia and in the North Sea
Europe: The Mittelplate oil field in the North Sea tidal flats is the cornerstone of our oil production in Germany. Wintershall and RWE-DEA each own a 50% stake in this field, the largest known oil deposit in the country. In 2011, we also drilled the first wells as part of our biopolymer project to increase recovery rates from the Bockstedt oil field in Lower Saxony.
Wintershall is one of the largest producers of natural gas in the southern North Sea, producing approximately 1.0 billion cubic meters annually. In October 2011, we began production at the Wingate platform, the first gas production site operated by Wintershall in the British North Sea. Similarly to 19 other platforms, this is centrally controlled by one of the most modern radio control systems in the world.
Our oil activities in Norway and the United Kingdom also play an important role in our portfolio. For example, in the Catcher field off the east coast of Scotland, three exploration and appraisal wells were successfully drilled in 2011 (Wintershall’s stake: 20%). We were also able to expand our resources in Norway in 2011 thanks to exploration projects. The Norwegian Parliament approved our plan for operating the Knarr field in the northern North Sea. This field, in which Wintershall has a 20% stake, has commercially recoverable reserves of more than 70 million barrels of oil equivalent. Furthermore, we were granted two exploration licenses with operatorship for the first time in the Barents Sea.
Russia and the Caspian Sea region: The Yuzhno Russkoye natural gas field in Western Siberia has been operating at plateau production since 2009. We participate with a 35% interest in the economic rewards of this field. In addition, we have a 50% share in the development of a section of the Achimov formation (Block IA, Achimgaz) in the Urengoy field, which is also located in Western Siberia. After the successful completion of the pilot phase in November 2011, we began development of the entire field. Twenty new production wells are planned as part of a first subproject.
We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for an asset swap with Gazprom: According to this agreement, Wintershall will hold a 25% stake in the development of Blocks 4 and 5 of the Achimov Formation in the Urengoy field – with the option to raise this stake to 50% in a second step. In return, Gazprom will receive a stake in fields in the British and Dutch North Sea.
In the Caspian Sea region, we are pursuing exploration projects in Turkmenistan.
North Africa/Middle East: In Libya, we operate eight oil fields in the southeastern Sirte Basin in the onshore concessions 96 and 97. Following political tension in Libya, we took the precaution of stopping production in both concessions in February 2011. These facilities have been in operation again since mid-October. Production was stopped from March to September 2011 in the Libyan Al Jurf offshore oil field, in which Wintershall has a minority stake.
In Mauritania, we conduct exploration activities in two onshore concessions. We drilled the first exploration well in Block 4N in Qatar; we also hold a stake in Block 3. In Abu Dhabi, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company for the development of a natural gas deposit.
South America: We hold shares in 15 fields in Argentina. In the Neuquén Basin, we began three technology projects to explore the potential for shale gas in the Aguada Pichana, Bandurria and San Roque blocks. We hold stakes in two blocks in Chile and have drilled the first exploration well.