FRANKFURT Dec 4 Germany's Wintershall
has made what could be a major oil discovery in the
Dutch North Sea, pending appraisal drilling in 2013, the company
said on Tuesday.
Wintershall, the exploration arm of chemicals group BASF,
said it had found at least an estimated 30 million barrels of
recoverable oil in September in the exploration licence F17a.
This lies about 120 kilometres north of the port of Den
Wintershall is already one of the largest gas producers in
the southern part of the North Sea and had not been targeting
oil for a while, said Gilbert van den Brink, managing director
of Wintershall Noordzee, the operator of the licence.
"This discovery gives us the opportunity to grow our
business in the Netherlands and provide a more balanced
portfolio in term of oil and gas," he said.
Other partners in the licence are Dutch state-owned EBN, GDF
Suez E&P Nederland, Rosewood Exploration and TAQA
Early in 2012, Wintershall launched tight gas production
from the K18-Golf field in the Dutch North Sea. It is also
exploring in the British, German and Danish North Sea.
(Reporting by Vera Eckert; editing by Jane Baird)