Expanding our activities in the North Sea area and strengthening cooperation with our partners present in the region are important goals for Gazprom International.
Participation in the Wingate, Winchelsea and Sillimanite projects will allow us to acquire new offshore work experience, master the technologies and technical solutions necessary for development of fields in the conditions of northern seas, and explore and get a better understanding of the opportunities for future development of our company’s operations in this area.
The Wingate Project
On the North Sea shelf (the British and Dutch sectors), Gazprom International takes part in the Wingate gas field development project as well as in projects on the Winchelsea and Sillimanite prospects.
In 2012, a 20% stake in the Wingate project was handed over to Gazprom International within the framework of Gazprom’s foreign asset optimization procedures. The project is implemented under the licenses and joint operation agreements by a consortium of the following companies: Wintershall Noordzee (WINZ, the operator, member of Wintershall Holding GmbH) – 49.5%, Gazprom International – 20%, Gas Union (Germany) – 15% and XTO UK (United Kingdom) – 15.5%. The funding is proportionate to the parties' stakes in the project.
The Wingate field was discovered in 2008 in the Silverpit oil and gas bearing basin located in the British sector of the North Sea. The licence area includes four blocks: 44/24b, 44/18d, 44/23f and 44/19f.
During the geological exploration stage, a seismic survey was carried out and the first well (for exploratory purposes) was drilled. In October 2011, the field was put into operation upon construction of the facilities. In 2012, the second well (for production purposes) was built and commissioned.
In January 2013, construction of the third well (A3) was finished. In 2014, the A4 well was built and put into operation. In 2015, the A5 well was drilled and commissioned. The gas recovered is delivered to an onshore terminal in the Netherlands.
The Winchelsea Project
In addition, as noted above, Gazprom international holds a 20% stake in the Winchelsea project in the British sector of the North Sea.
This project is implemented under the licenses and joint operation agreements by a consortium of the following companies: Wintershall Noordzee (WINZ, the operator, part of the Wintershall Holding GmbH) – 49.5%, Gazprom International – 20%, Gas Union (Germany) – 15% and XTO UK (United Kingdom) – 15.5%.
An exploratory well has been drilled at the Winchelsea prospect.
The Sillimanite Project
Gazprom International also holds stakes in the D12b (the Dutch sector) and P2135 (the British sector) licenses, where the Sillimanite prospect is located. This project is implemented under the licenses and joint operation agreements by two consortia:
The D12b licence consortium - Wintershall Noordzee (the operator) – 30.1%, Gazprom International – 17.6%, GDF Suez NL – 5.2%, Oranje-Nassau – 7.0% and EBN B.V. – 40%.
The P2135 licence consortium – Wintershall Noordzee (the operator) – 50.2%, Gazprom International –29.3%, GDF Suez UK – 8.7%, Oranje-Nassau – 11.7%.
The consortia have reached an agreement for joint construction of an exploratory well at the Sillimanite prospect. The well was successfully drilled in 2015 and yielded commercial inflow of hydrocarbons.
In October 2015, Gazprom International obtained a 50% stake in Wintershall Noordzee (WINZ) following the asset swap deal between Gazprom and Wintershall Holding GmbH.
The North Sea, a shallow marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean, washes the shores of Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and the UK.
The North Sea covers an area of 544 thousand square km, with an average depth of 96m and a maximum depth of 809m (The Norwegian Trench).
The climate is temperate in the North Sea region. Westerly winds constantly blow over the waters, bringing rain, fog and high waves. The temperature of the surface water layers in winter does not fall below +2 degrees Celsius in the north and +7 degrees in the north-west. In summer, the water warms up to +18 - +20 (in the south). The water's salinity ranges from 29 to 35 PROMMA.
The North Sea is the main crossroads of the world’s sea passages, and northern European ports handle more than 20% of all the planet’s marine traffic. Almost all the European countries are in the Northern Sea fisheries; here about 4 million tonnes of bio-resources are obtained annually.
Total reserves in the North Sea are estimated at approximately 3 billion tonnes of oil and 4.5 trillion cubic metres of natural gas. Across individual sectors they are distributed quite unevenly.
In accordance with the Geneva Convention of 1958, the entire North Sea Shelf is divided between the UK, Norway, Denmark, Germany and Holland into economic areas of operation. The largest hydrocarbon deposits belong to the UK and Norway. Each year, both these countries extract approximately 100 million tonnes of oil each. About 90% of the oil from offshore deposits is produced from depths not exceeding 60 metres. Today, in offshore zones from the south to the northern-most latitudes, there are underwater pipelines hundreds of kilometres long, as well as oil and gas rigs. One of the tallest oil rigs in the world (350м) is at Gullfaks, 175 kilometres from the Norwegian coast.