Mittelplate oil field has greater reserves than initial estimates

RWE DEA AG said Mittelplate oil field in the German sector of the North Sea is thought to hold reserves of more than 60 million tonnes compared with the previously estimated 35 million tonnes.

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Nov. 18 -- RWE DEA AG said Mittelplate oil field in the German sector of the North Sea is thought to hold reserves of more than 60 million tonnes compared with the previously estimated 35 million tonnes.

RWE DEA, which operates Mittelplate, holds equal interest in the field along with Wintershall AG. The revised reserve figures stem from a recently completed 3D seismic survey and also from 15 years of field operation, a spokesman said.

RWE DEA developed the field in tidal waters with an artificial drilling and production island. Production started in October 1987 (OGJ, Mar. 1, 1999, p. 33).

As of September, 15 wells have been drilled from the facility and more than 7 million tonnes of crude has been produced and transported in specially designed oil barges. Constant upgrades to the island's production facilities and expansion of transport capacities have enabled the consortium to increase its production to 800,000 tonnes/year from 250,000 tonnes/year initially, RWE DEA reported.

Planning is under way to increase production capacity. A pipeline has been proposed that would link the drilling and production island Mittelplate to a processing plant at Dieksand Land Station at Friedrichskoog.

The proposed pipeline would allow production—currently restricted by transport capacities of the offshore operation—to be increased to 1.4 million tonnes/year, an RWE DEA spokesman said. Current transportation capacity is 800,000 tonnes/year.

"We are in the process of applying for permission for the laying of the planned pipeline connection. . .this process needs some more months and may be finished by mid 2003," Harald Graser, RWE DEA general manager of corporate communications, told OGJ. "After getting the necessary permits, we plan to establish the pipeline connection during May and June 2004," he added.

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