Wintershall starts up lightweight North Sea platform

Offshore staff

RIJSWIJK, the NetherlandsWintershall has produced first gas through the unmanned mini-platform serving the L6-B field in the Dutch North Sea.

The facility was built in nine months and delivered to its offshore location last June.

It is one of a new generation of platforms designed for deployment in very shallow waters and for economic production from small gas fields.

The short construction schedule and relatively simple installation means costs are less than half those of a conventional satellite platform, Wintershall adds.

L6-B is in a restricted military zone, and Wintershall is the first company allowed to operate in this area. For this reason the installation needed to be as small as possible, and the 100-ton topsides may be the smallest to date, the company claims. The substructure weighs 1,100 tons.

The platform is anchored to the seafloor via suction piles. Its above-water section is around 18 m (59 ft) high, with three decks but no helideck.

A subsea pipeline transports the produced gas to the nearby L8-P4, which controls the new facility and also supplies it with electricity.


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