Existing natural gas production at three production sites in Bergen (Celle County) is now up to 70 percent more efficient. This has been made possible by a new gas compressor which the operating company, Vermilion Energy Germany, first tested at the Becklingen Z2 production site and has now put into continuous operation.
“With this technology, we can increase the amount of natural gas we produce by about two-thirds without harming people or the environment and without requiring additional space or other resources. We are constantly working to produce domestic natural gas as efficiently and sustainably as possible. With the increased natural gas production from the Becklingen, Bleckmar and Wardböhmen fields, an additional 1,300 households can be reliably supplied with domestic natural gas every year until 2040,” explains Andreas Gobi, Production Superintendent at Vermilion Energy Germany, who is responsible for the production from the six natural gas fields and six oil fields that the company currently operates in Lower Saxony.
During the production process, the natural gas is extracted from the production wells and, depending on the production pressure, it is compressed for transportation. In the transport networks, the gas is transported at high pressures in the range of 50 to 100 bar. The compressor now in operation in Becklingen optimizes the path of the natural gas from the deposits in the Celle district via the production wells and gas drying plants into the pipelines. The suction effect of the compressor increases the production rate from the production wells. The increased production rates are then compressed by the new compressor to the prevailing pressure level in the transport pipeline.
Natural gas production in Germany makes a valuable contribution to security of supply in the country. It also reduces dependence on imports and cuts CO2-intensive transportation from abroad.
The Wisselshorst Z1 drilling site has existed between the towns of Bomlitz and Kroge for over 20 years. Although natural gas was drilled there, production never started. Now a new attempt is to be started from the existing drilling site. The energy company Vermilion Energy, which is active in gas and oil production in Lower Saxony, acquired the rights at the beginning of 2016 to search for natural gas in the Heidekreis region and, if successful, to produce it.
“Natural gas has already been encountered in the Wisselshorst Z1 well, so it makes sense to use the existing Wisselshorst well site to penetrate into promising areas from there. With the expected production volumes, around 100,000 households could be supplied with natural gas every year,” says Dr. Jürgen Rückheim, General Representative of Vermilion.
Various official permits are currently still required for the planned project, which are expected in the course of this year. In the first step, the drilling site will be prepared using state-of-the-art technology for the drilling work planned for autumn. This work is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2023.
Vermilion Energy Germany, since 2021 operator in the “Wietze-Osterheide I” permit field, is planning a production well to resume natural gas production from the Osterheide natural gas reservoir. It is a new well drilled from the existing Osterheide Z1 site. The well is being drilled into an area of the deposit that has not yet been developed. If all the permits are in place, the field will be upgraded and prepared for drilling work between January and March 2023. The exploratory drilling could start in late summer 2023 and is expected to last a little over four months.
The “Wietze-Osterheide I” permit field is located in the north-eastern area of the municipality of Wietzendorf. The Osterheide drilling site has existed since 1997. The operator at the time, RWE-DEA, started production in 1999 and ended it in 2002. When Vermilion Energy took over the rights for the “Wietze-Osterheide I” permit field in January 2021, production from the Osterheide Z1 well was already suspended and has not been resumed since. The new drilling project, which will be conducted from the same drilling site as a diversionary borehole into a neighboring underground area and therefore does not require any new infrastructure, is appropriately named Osterheide Z2.
In all activities, Vermilion works with very high standards and under strict conditions in relation to the protection of people and the environment.