Netherlands-based Wintershall Noordzee has completed the third development well at the Sillimanite field in the southern North Sea.
The company, a joint venture between Germany’s Wintershall Dea and the international arm of Russian giant Gazprom, said it had “directly converted” the Sillimanite South field discovery into a development side-track.
It was the third well drilled in sequence after the two Sillimanite unit field development wells came online earlier this year.
Wintershall Noordzee is currently finalising the hook-up activities to Neptune Energy’s D12-B platform near the Anglo-Dutch border in Dutch territorial waters.
From there, the produced gas will be transported via the Neptune operated D15-A production platform, through the NGT gas transportation system to shore.
The field stretches across the UK and the Dutch continental shelves in licence block 44/19a on the UK side and blocks D12a and D12b on the Dutch side.
The Sillimanite South partners are EBN (50%), Neptune (10.5%) and operator Wintershall Noordzee (39.5%).
Robert Frimpong, managing director of Wintershall Noordzee, said: “It is without a doubt a unique achievement of Wintershall Noordzee, Maersk Drilling, and our many supply-chain and Joint Venture partners to develop this exploration well into a production well in one flow.
“The covid-19 pandemic has not stopped us or slowed us down. Our clear goal was to deliver, and that is exactly what we have done.
“We maintained focus, concentrated on getting the job done, but most of all we kept everyone involved safe and healthy especially under these covid-19 circumstances.
“An excellent example of perseverance, teamwork and collaboration in difficult circumstances.”
Mr Frimpong warned that the investment climate had to improve for Dutch North Sea drilling to continue.
He said: “There is still potential in the Dutch North Sea, but the conditions and circumstances need to change rapidly.”
Lex de Groot, managing director for Neptune Energy in the Netherlands, said: “Our congratulations to our partners Wintershall Noordzee for their success with the Sillimanite South exploration well, which was safely drilled from the newly installed D12-B platform.
“Like the two previously drilled D12-B development wells, this is another strong example that demonstrates the many opportunities for domestic offshore gas production in the Dutch sector of the North Sea.
“Domestically-produced offshore gas is important for various reasons; it has a 30% lower CO2 footprint than imported gas; it supports security of supply and reduces reliance on imported energy sources which can be more carbon intensive, and – besides solar and wind energy – we know we will continue to need gas to heat our homes and fuel our economy.
“It’s not a case of one or the other – we need a reliable and affordable energy mix that includes gas and oil, and renewable energy. We therefore look forward to adding the production from this new development well as soon as possible.
“Neptune is a proud and proactive joint venture partner in the Sillimanite development, which fits our regional portfolio very well.”