Mittelplate sets production milestone

The Mittelplate oil field in the German North Sea completed production this week of its 25-millionth ton of crude since start-up in October 1987.

Offshore staff

HAMBURG -- The Mittelplate oil field in the German North Sea completed production this week of its 25-millionth ton of crude since start-up in October 1987.

RWE Dea operates the field off the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein, in partnership with Wintershall Holding. The company says it could feasibly produce a similar quantity of crude from the complex in future.

Mittelplate supplies over half of Germany’s indigenous oil production.

The reservoir has been developed by an offshore drilling and production complex and from extended reach wells drilled from the shore. Current output is around 1.4 million tons of oil/yr.

In May this year, Germany’s State Department for Mining, Energy and Geology extended the production permit for development of the field by a further 30 years, through end-2041.

Ralf to Baben, Chief Operations Officer at RWE Dea, said: “We consider this renewal the confirmation of our drilling, production and transportation concept, a system that has set international benchmarks, as well as of our high safety standards. In the past 23 years, we have proved that economic interests, nature conservation and responsible actions are also compatible with one another in a sensitive ecosystem like the Wattenmeer tidal flats.”


The Mittelplate drilling and production `island’ measures 70 x 95 m (229 x 311 ft) in size. It comprises a rain- and waterproof concrete-and-steel basin with 11-m high sheet pile walls on top of a sand bank in the Wattenmeer tidal flats.

RWE Dea claims to operate strict controls to prevent any rogue substances exiting the island - rainwater and spray are collected and treated at the complex. Safety valves below and above ground are easily accessible and can be activated automatically, manually or by remote control.

10/29/2010-jb-mittleplate

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