Wintershall is investing around €20 million in its Barnstorf site in Lower Saxony (Kreis Diepholz) in the coming years: As well as modernizing the oil treatment facility, the BASF subsidiary is planning to build a new oil pipeline in the Düste field. “These high investments represent a strong commitment to production in Germany. In so doing, we are gearing up for traditional oil production in the next 30 years,” Andreas Scheck, Head of Wintershall Deutschland, explains. Wintershall employs 350 staff at its operations in Barnstorf.
Barnstorf in Lower Saxony is the central hub of Wintershall’s domestic production. The company, which is Germany’s largest, internationally active crude oil and natural gas producer, has been producing crude oil and natural gas in Northern Germany for more than 60 years. It also acquires crucial know-how on drilling and production techniques at Barnstorf – which is then applied worldwide.
Wintershall recently commissioned a new flat-bottom tank for the treatment and storage of crude oil on its operating grounds in Barnstorf, and now the BASF subsidiary has begun with the construction of three additional steel tanks. They each have a capacity of between 1.5 million and 2.5 million litres. The existing twelve tanks on the grounds will be taken down and disposed of. The construction of the new tanks is scheduled to be completed in October 2016.
“What is special about the new tanks is that they no longer need large-scale, concrete collection basins thanks to their innovative construction design,” Wintershall project manager Christian Freitag explains. “The oil tanks have a walk-in annular space and the water tanks are also double-walled. In addition, all the tanks are equipped with a continuous monitoring system.”
Wintershall is also planning to build a new crude oil pipeline from the operating grounds in Barnstorf to the field Düste as part of its modernization measures. The work is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2015 as soon as the permit has been granted. Wintershall has been producing in the Düste oil field since 1954, and has produced around two million m3 of crude oil since then. And there is more potential: current planning indicates that oil can be extracted from the reservoir for another 30 years. The regional economy also profits from the investments in the Barnstorf site.
Not far away, in Bockstedt, Wintershall has conducted seismic measurements. The search for new oil deposits was completed in December much sooner than expected. The evaluation of the data is expected to take about a year. Wintershall has been producing in Bockstedt for more than 60 years. A well sunk at the beginning of 2014 discovered oil of an exceptionally high quality. For this reason experts believe there are further crude oil deposits in the region.
Wintershall has produced more than 40 million t of crude oil in Germany to date – as much as Saudi Arabia supplies to Germany over 20 years. “With domestic crude oil and natural gas production, we are not only making an important contribution to the energy supply in Germany; with our research projects we are also establishing ourselves worldwide as a centre of technology at Wintershall, creating jobs in the region and investing in the training of young people,” Scheck underlines.
Adapted from press release by Joe Green