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Wintershall's Maria online, ahead of schedule

Written by  OE Staff Monday, 18 December 2017 02:47

Germany's Wintershall has started production from the Maria subsea tieback offshore Norway a year ahead of schedule and 20% under budget. 

The Maria field development cost about US$1.43 billion (NOK12 billion), $358.9 million below the original budget. 

Wintershall, and its licence partners Petoro and Spirit Energy, have started production at the Maria field one year ahead of schedule. 

The Maria field is in 300m water depth, 200km offshore Trondheim, Norway, in blocks 6407/1 and 6406/3 on the Halten Terrace in the Norwegian Sea. It was discovered in 2010, followed by an appraisal well in 2012, confirming about 180 MMboe recoverable reservess, most of which is oil.

To enable its development, the field makes use of three nearby platforms and an existing subsea installation: the Statoil-operated Kristin, Heidrun and Åsgard B production platforms, and Tyrihans. By tying into local infrastructure and with a planned 25-year life span, Maria could also help prolong the production horizon of surrounding fields. 

Hugo Dijkgraaf, Wintershall Norge Managing Director and until recently Maria Project Director, said: “Delivering a production start-up two years and three months after PDO (plan for development and operation) approval by the ministry for such a complex offshore project is a testament to Wintershall’s capability to deliver on development projects. Construction and installation of the subsea equipment and pipelines was completed without any major problems or delays, and this summer we drilled some of the most efficient wells in the history of the Haltenbanken area. This excellent progress would not have been possible without the cooperation of Statoil as operator on the host platforms. Maria is a role model for an outstanding cooperation between operators and suppliers.” 

Maria is Wintershall's first own-operated field in Norway, which the firm took from exploration, through development and to production. Wintershall says it has also increased its daily production offshore Norway from 3000 boe/d in 2009 to about 100,000 boe/d today.

The Maria solution is a two-template development with oil piped to the Kristin semisubmersible production platform (online since 2005), 23km away, via a 26km-long pipeline. The pipeline has a direct electric heating system to avoid hydrate formation.

For pressure support, water is supplied from Heidrun, a floating tension leg platform with a concrete hull (online since 1995), 43km away.

Gas from the Åsgard B semisubmersible gas and condensate processing platform (onstream since 2000) will be used, via an existing pipeline, which goes to the Tyrihans field (a subsea tieback to Kristin and Åsgard producing since 2009), then a new 22km-long pipeline back up to Maria.

Production fluids will go to the Åsgard C condensate storage and offloading vessel, from where they will be offloaded by shuttle tanker. Gas will go to Kristin and exported to Kårstø.

Martin Bachmann, Wintershall Executive Board Member for Exploration and Production in Europe and Middle East, said: “The experience gained in the Maria project will serve as a blue-print, for our Nova development, previously known as Skarfjell, and worldwide.”

Wintershall says it awarded more than 90% of all Maria contracts to companies based in Norway culminating in an expected work amount of 34,000 man years over the Maria lifetime.

Wintershall Norge is the operator of the license (50% interest), with partners Petoro (30%) and Spirit Energy (20%). 

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