23rd of June, 2016
Rhein Petroleum GmbH – in which Tulip Oil Holding B.V. holds a 90% interest – has commenced the drilling of its Hofwiese 1 well in search for Oil. The drilling for oil started again on Thursday in the German federal state of Baden Württemberg. With the Hofwiese 1 well located close to the town of Graben-Neudorf. Rhein Petroleum GmBH, a Heidelberg based company is searching the subsurface for commercial viable amounts of oil. Currently, this is the only such drilling operation in Baden Württemberg.
The wellsite covers some 2.5 acres and is easily accessible from the nearby B35 road. It will take six to eight weeks to reach the target at a depth of 1,800m below surface, after which the 35m high rig will leave the location. The well site surface location has been made impermeable to effectively protect the subsoil and groundwater.
Rhein Petroleum expects to find sizeable oil resources in lower Tertiary sandstone formations. To reach the selected target in the subsurface, the well will be initially drilled vertically to some 400 m depth and then deviated towards the northwest. Hence, the length of the well reach some 2,300m along hole.
In 2012, Rhein Petroleum acquired a large 3D seismic survey nearby Karlsruhe covering an area of more than 280 square kilometres. The results revealed the presence of prospective structures under Graben-Neudorf and several other locations. However, proof of oil in the subsurface requires the drilling of the Hofwiese 1 well.
According to Dr. Michael Suana, CEO of Rhein Petroleum, Hofwiese-1 is located in an area of previous oil production. The nearby Graben and Huttenheim fields were producing until the 1960s and the Leopoldshafen field until the 1980s. Today, Rhein Petroleum is working on re-establishing domestic oil production by applying modern, small footprint technology.
On average, the well will advance some 100m per day. It will consist of four sections that become narrower in diameter with depth. Each section will be lined with a cemented steel casing. Hence, the upper part of the well be sealed effectively against the rock by several layers of steel and cement. At the target depth, the cased well will have a diameter of 7 inches equivalent to almost 18cm only.
Once the target is reached and the presence of oil is demonstrated, Rhein Petroleum plans to perform production tests. The objective of such tests, which can last for several months, is to confirm the commerciality of the find. Dr. Michael Suana says: “After the rig has moved off site, we will carefully evaluate the results and then engage on production testing, presumably not before autumn of this year”.
Dr. Suana emphasizes also that oil from the Upper Rhine Graben is of excellent quality. It is light, contains very low sulphur and has many valuable ingredients. Crude of such quality is an important raw material for subsequent industrial manufacturing, i.e. medicines, cosmetics, plastics and many more products of daily use. For Dr. Suana, domestic oil is a very valuable natural resource, too good to be just used as fuel. For the CEO of Rhein Petroleum, a further reason to produce crude oil in Germany is not only its quality but also its competitive CO2 footprint when compared to imported crude. Production from Hofwiese is only a few kilometres away from the refinery in Karlsruhe. Currently, domestic oil production is only 3% of German crude consumption.
Rhein Petroleum has made discoveries in the federal state of Hessen (Riedstadt) and together with Wintershall in Bavaria (Unterallgäu). All are currently carrying out production testing operations.
Rhein Petroleum only applies conventional methods to produce oil. This means producing oil from naturally porous and permeable rocks in the subsurface. Production relies partly on the natural buoyancy of oil and partly on pumping to surface.
For people desiring further technical information, Rhein Petroleum placed a public information container in front of the wellsite. In addition, Rhein Petroleum is arranging for an Open Doors Day in mid-July with guided tours at the wellsite.
Tel.: +49 7221 398 66-11
About Rhein Petroleum GmbH
Rhein Petroleum GmbH is a young German company based in Heidelberg. The operations are focused on exploration and exploitation of new and already known oil and gas fields in Southern Germany and the Upper Rhine Graben. The highly qualified and internationally experienced staff operates with state of the art drilling, security and environmental protection technologies. The company is majority owned (90%) by Dutch based Tulip Oil Holding. Deutsche Rohstoff AG, founder of Rhein Petroleum, holds a minority stake of ten percent.