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German-Russian venture drops Netherlands Rembrandt-Vermeer oil project

German-Russian venture drops Netherlands Rembrandt-Vermeer oil project

Moscow, November 4 - Neftegaz.RU. Russian-German joint venture Wintershall Noordzee has abandoned plans to develop the Rembrandt and Vermeer oil discoveries offshore the Netherlands due to delays in obtaining environmental approval, the venture said November 3, S&P Global Platts analysed.

The 2 fields, discovered in 2012-14, were to be developed in tandem. Recoverable reserves at the Rembrandt field are estimated at 30 million barrels of oil equivalent.

In a statement, Wintershall Noordzee said the project had fallen foul of regulation relating to nitrogen emissions, with no near-term solution in sight. The project envisaged facilities with a oil output capacity of 20,000 b/d.

Wintershall Noordzee is a 50:50 joint venture between German Wintershall and Russia's Gazprom and holds a 30% stake in the F17a license area, with the remaining stakes held by state-owned EBN with 40%, Neptune Energy with 20% and Taqa and Rosewood each at 5%. Wintershall is a partner in Russian gas projects and the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline project linking Russia and Germany.

Wintershall Noordzee "has decided to withdraw the environmental permit applications for the F17 Rembrandt and Vermeer oil development project on the Dutch continental shelf and defer the project as a result of delays in the environmental permitting process," the joint venture's managing director, Robert Frimpong, said.

"The company was informed by the Dutch ministry of agriculture, nature and food quality that granting the permit is unfortunately not yet possible due to the continuing nitrogen impasse... and the current absence of a subsequent new method of granting permits for small depositions. The consequence of this and the fact that there is no new legislation in sight that will enable permitting for this Dutch development project, has led to the decision to withdraw the current permit application whilst considering alternative solutions to realizing the required permits at a later stage."

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