Exploration & Production
- Increased collaboration with Gazprom right at the source
- Expansion of our position in Norway
- Intensification of activities in the Middle East
Europe: The Mittelplate oilfield off the North Sea coast is the cornerstone of our crude oil production in Germany. We and RWE-DEA each own a 50% stake in this field, the largest known oil deposit in the country. At the Bockstedt oilfield, we continued our field test for increasing recovery rates with the biopolymer, Schizophyllan.
In 2013, Wintershall Noordzee B.V. discovered a new crude oil reservoir in the southern North Sea, in Danish territory close to the Ravn field. Investigations into its possible commercial development are to follow.
Our activities in Norway form a significant part of our portfolio. By acquiring shares in the Brage, Vega and Gjøa fields from Statoil, our daily oil and gas production there increased from around 3,000 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) to nearly 40,000 BOE starting in August 2013. Since October, we have been the operator of the Brage field with a major production platform on the Norwegian continental shelf.
Our plans for the development and operation of the Knarr and Edvard Grieg oilfields have been approved by the Norwegian authorities. With the Asha Noor exploration well in the southern Norwegian North Sea, we have discovered an additional crude oil reservoir, which we operate ourselves.
Our license portfolio was expanded by the award of four new exploration licenses in Norway and six new blocks in the British North Sea. We are selling selected assets on the British continental shelf to the Hungarian MOL Group as part of our portfolio optimization. The transaction is expected to conclude in the first quarter of 2014 with retroactive financial effect as of January 1, 2013, subject to approval by the relevant authorities.
Important developments in 2013
- We operate our first oil and gas platform on Norwegian continental shelf
- Production freeze in Libyan onshore fields since July due to export terminal strikes
- Improved conditions in Argentina fulfill requirements for expanding oil and gas production
Russia: The Yuzhno Russkoye natural gas field in Western Siberia has been operating at plateau production since 2009. We have a 35% economic interest in this field. We hold a stake of 50% in the development of Block IA of the Achimov formation in the Urengoy field in Western Siberia. The gradual development of this field was accelerated; 25 wells were producing at the end of 2013. We signed a contract with Gazprom in December 2013 for the joint development of Blocks IV and V, as well. Wintershall will acquire 25% plus one share. Production is scheduled to begin in 2016.
North Africa / Middle East: In Libya, we operate eight oilfields in the onshore concessions 96 and 97. Strikes at export terminals forced us to suspend our entire oil and gas production in July 2013. The Al Jurf offshore oilfield in Libya, in which we have an investment, was able to remain in normal operation all year.
In Abu Dhabi, we are preparing the first appraisal well in the Shuweihat sour gas and condensate field together with ADNOC and the Austrian oil and gas company, OMV. In addition, we are involved in the exploration of Block 4N of the Khuff Formation off the coast of Qatar, where natural gas was proven in 2013. Block 3 was returned after the end of the exploration phase. Furthermore, we concluded a strategic cooperation agreement in the region with Mubadala Petroleum.
South America: We hold shares in a total of 15 onshore and offshore fields in Argentina. In the Neuquén Basin, we continued our technology projects to explore the potential for shale gas and oil. The Argentinian government created various incentives to encourage investment in the oil and gas sector. We were therefore able to achieve, for example, significantly higher earnings contributions for gas volumes exceeding a certain base production level. These improved conditions support our search for new deposits, in which we are increasingly exploring unconventional resources. In Chile, we returned the Otway and Tranquilo blocks after the end of the first exploration period.