Wintershall has reached another milestone in the history of crude oil production in Emlichheim. Germany’s largest internationally active crude oil and natural gas producer celebrated the production of the ten-millionth ton of crude oil on the German- Dutch border as part of a big celebration at the Emlichheim operations – right on time for the 700-year anniversary of Emlichheim. Wintershall has been active in Emlichheim, in the country of Bentheim, for about seven decades. This makes Emlichheim one of the oldest crude oil production sites in Germany.
Wintershall currently produces around 160,000 tons crude oil per year from 95 wells in the Emlichheim field. “This jubilee is magnificent confirmation of our work,” Martin Bachmann, Member of the Board of Executive Directors of Wintershall and responsible for Exploration & Production, said. “We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the community of Emlichheim, our business partners and all staff who have contributed to making oil production here an incredible success story in the last few decades,” Joachim Pünnel, head of Wintershall’s activities in Germany, added.
Kept at a high level for decades: oil production in Emlichheim
The first well, Em 1, was sunk in 1943 in the Bentheim sandstone and started production on 12 May 1944. Since it was commissioned, more than 120,000 tons of crude oil have been produced from this well alone. The development of the Emlichheim crude oil field already reached a high level at the beginning of the 1950’s with an annual average production of more than 150,000 tons. Wintershall was able to prolong the production lifetime of the field significantly with innovative production technologies. For example, sophisticated steam flooding technology has been used continuously and constantly developed at Emlichheim since 1981. “With the help of steam flooding combined with horizontal drilling techniques, which also enhance production, we will raise the recovery rate of the Emlichheim reservoir to over 40 percent,” Joachim Pünnel is certain.
Domestic production is a success factor
In this context the Wintershall Board Member Martin Bachmann also recognized the strategic importance of the production operations at Emlichheim: “Domestic production operations like this in Emlichheim not only contribute to supply security; the insight that we gain from producing from these geologically complex reserves enhances Wintershall’s technical expertise and also plays a crucial role in international projects.”
Against this backdrop Wintershall is working on continuing the successful production in Emlichheim. Another 16 new wells were sunk here just a few months ago. Germany’s largest internationally active oil and gas producer also invested in six new horizontal wells and seven vertical wells in 2011.
The drilling campaign is set to be enhanced with another 23 deviations from existing wells in the coming years. “With the new wells we can maintain annual production at around 160,000 tons until at least 2016,” Joachim Pünnel predicted. “Based on current calculations, this means Emlichheim will continue contributing to Germany’s crude oil supply for more than 20 years. Hence, the shared success story of Wintershall and Emlichheim is far from over yet.”