Wintershall Gets Nod to Start Up Maria Ahead of Schedule

German operator Wintershall has been granted a consent from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) to start-up production from the Maria field in the Norwegian Sea, ahead of schedule.

Production start-up is planned for December 2017, about 10 months ahead of the original plan, which was for start-up in the fourth quarter of 2018.

The development will also cost less than anticipated, with the investment costs just over NOK 12 billion, whereas the estimate in the Plan for Development and Operations (PDO) was NOK 15.7 billion.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate is very satisfied with the development of the Maria project,” said Kalmar Ildstad, assistant director for Development and Operations in the Norwegian Sea.

Maria, operated by Wintershall, is located about 240 kilometers northwest of Trondheim, about 20 kilometers east of the Kristin field and approximately 45 kilometers southwest of the Heidrun field.

Maria has been developed with two seabed templates, each with four slots. Current plans are to drill four oil production wells and two water injection wells.

The wellstream from Maria will be transported via a seabed pipeline to Kristin for processing and metering.

The stabilized oil will then be routed to the Åsgard C – FSU for storage and offloading. The rich gas will be transported through the Åsgard Transport System (ÅTS) to Kårstø, where NGL and condensate will be extracted.

Gas for gas lift will be supplied from Åsgard B via the Tyrihans D template. Injection of sulfate-reduced water from Heidrun TLP will be used for pressure support.

Wintershall estimates total recoverable reserves of 28.9 million standard cubic meters (Sm3) of oil, 1.32 million tonnes NGL and 2.31 billion Sm3 gas.

Maria is expected to produce for 22 years.

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