Norwegian minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Søviknes, and Wintershall’s CEO, Mario Mehren, have visited the Deepsea Stavanger rig ahead of reservoir drilling on the Wintershall’s Maria field.
Maria, Wintershall’s flagship development in Norway, is a subsea field that uses existing infrastructure to produce oil in a cost effective way.
Drilling of the six wells on the field began in March and the top holes are now complete. Drilling towards the reservoir section is underway.
“The Maria project has so far had very good progress. If this continues, a startup in the first half of 2018 could be possible. With the drilling of the reservoir, we will be passing another critical milestone that moves us a step closer to first oil,” said Mehren.
“I am proud to see the field begin to take shape. Maria is a fitting symbol of our long-term commitment to Norway,” he added.
Located in the Haltenbanken area of the Norwegian Sea, the Maria reservoir will be linked via subsea tieback to three existing platforms in the area.
The Maria well-stream will go to the Kristin platform for processing while supply of water for injection into the reservoir will come from the Heidrun platform and lift gas will be provided from Åsgard B via the Tyrihans subsea template.
Processed oil will be shipped to the Åsgard field for storage and offloading to shuttle tankers. Gas will be exported via the Åsgard Transport System to Kårstø.
Some 68km of pipelines and two subsea templates have already been installed with the remaining installations due in 2017. Platform modifications to Kristin and Heidrun, and other offshore marine work is ongoing.
Investments in the Maria development is estimated at around 15.3 billion NOK. Recoverable reserves on the field are estimated around 180 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), of which the majority is oil.
First oil is expected in 2018, with a possible acceleration into the first half of the year.
Wintershall Norge is the operator of the license with a 50% share, Petoro has a 30% share and Centrica Resources (Norge) owns the remaining 20%.