Wintershall and its partners Petoro and Centrica have secured approval from the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy of Norway for the NOK15.3bn ($1.85bn) plan for development and operation (PDO) for the Maria field.


Wintershall Maria project director Hugo Dijkgraaf said: "This is another important landmark for Wintershall in Norway.

"Through Maria we are investing in one of our core international regions which demonstrates our commitment on the Norwegian Continental Shelf."

Under the approved development, the field will involve two subsea templates that are located on the ocean floor tied back to several host installations in the area.

The reservoir will be linked through a subsea tieback to the Kristin, Heidrun and Åsgard B production platforms.

The Maria well stream will reach the Kristin platform for processing.

According to the company, the Heidrun platform will supply water for injection into the reservoir, while Åsgard B would provide the lift gas through the Tyrihans D field subsea template.

The Åsgard field will receive the processed oil for storage and offloading to shuttle tankers.

"By developing this innovative solution that utilizes existing infrastructure in the Norwegian Sea, we are strengthening our position as a subsea operator and generating substantial value for the partnership and the whole supply chain," Dijkgraaf added.

Located about 20km east of the Kristin field and about 45km south of the Heidrun field in the Halten Terrace , the Maria field is operated and 50% owned by Wintershall Norge.

The other partners in the project include Petoro with 30% share and Centrica Resources (Norge) holding the remaining 20%.

The planned production startup for Maria is slated to take place in 2018.

Image: Maria oil field is located about 20km east of the Kristin field. Photo: courtesy of Wintershall Holding GmbH