Wintershall increases oil production in Aitingen

Three new wells strike oil near Augsburg / Surveys by air planned to identify further deposits

(PresseBox) ( Aitingen/Schwabmünchen, )
Wintershall is continuing to invest in domestic oil production: between November 2011 and January 2012 the company sunk the new wells "Aitingen Süd 2", "Schwabmünchen 7" and "Aitingen Nord-Ost 1" in the Alpine foothills south of Augs-burg. All three wells struck oil. The crude oil from "Aitingen Süd 2" and "Schwabmünchen 7" will flow via steel pipeline to the operations in Aitingen from May 2012, where it will be treated and then trans-ported to the refinery in Lingen. The exploration well "Aitingen Nord-Ost 1" will first undergo a test in April to provide information on the possible production volumes. The wholly owned BASF subsidiary Wintershall has invested around 7.5 million euros in the wells. "The new wells aim to increase the previous annual production volumes and secure production for the next 20 years," Rainer Ihl, Manager of Wintershall's production site in Aitingen, explained. The company has been operating the production region south of Augsburg since 1979. In 2011 around 30,000 tons of crude oil were produced in Ait-ingen and Schwabmünchen. The new discoveries bring the total number of production wells by Wintershall in the Alpine foothills to ten.

In its exploration for further crude oil deposits in the Alpine foothills, Wintershall is now using an innovative process that can make the search for hydrocarbons faster and much more cost-efficient. Experts plan to measure electromagnetic fields in a predefined area from a helicopter using measuring antennas attached to the helicop-ter skids. The experts expect to find electromagnetic fields in a cer-tain frequency range in places where hydrocarbons are contained in the ground. This is because under the influence of natural ground vibrations the mixture of hydrocarbons and the water-salt-mix con-tained in the ground beneath the surface generates a characteristic vibration pattern, which creates special electromagnetic fields - and which can be measured. The process does not involve any interven-tion in the natural surroundings. The experts are merely measuring fields that already exist.

"We are not able to determine with certainty whether hydrocarbons exist in the ground's structures with the seismic methods previously applied; we can only make assumptions," Marcel Eckard, geophysi-cist at Wintershall, explains. But the new method could possibly prove the existence of hydrocarbons in the subterranean structures more directly. "In the end wells are always required to determine whether crude oil or natural gas does actually exist."

The flights over the Alpine foothills are planned for a few days from 29 February up to and including 5 March. An area covering 93 square kilometers including Großaitingen, Kleinaitingen, Graben and parts of Wehringen will be surveyed. The helicopter will fly lines in a north-south direction at a speed of 25 to 35 kilometers per hour and with a gap of 100 meters. The flying altitude will be 25 to 50 meters. In built-up areas the altitude will increase 150 to 300 meters. All flights will be made in daylight only.

Contact for questions of local residents:
Jürgen Mahr, Wintershall Aitingen
Phone: +49 820396 1723
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