Location Geldsackplate
Interests Hansa 50%, ONE 50%
Operator Hansa
Status Exploration
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H&L Blocks

Location Blocks H15-18, L1-L5 (Licence B20008/71)
Interests Hansa 20%, ENGIE 40%, Wintershall 40%
Operator Wintershall
Status Exploration & Appraisal
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H&L Blocks


Hansa holds a 20% interest in the large B20008/71 licence in the German North Sea (the “H&L Blocks”). In January 2010 Hansa participated in the drilling of the L1-2 well with the objective of appraising the L1-Alpha discovery. This was the first well drilled in the area for over 30 years and although the licence holds 3 discoveries the area has been overlooked due to the poor understanding of reservoir development in the Lower Rotliegend sandstones and a perceived nitrogen risk. The results of the L1-2 well confirm L1-Alpha as a potentially commercial development and the data has been incorporated into a revised understanding of the area. The partners have now committed to perform a large 3D seismic survey over the discoveries and neighbouring prospectivity, subject to permitting by the authorities.

“The 2010 L1-2 well was the first new well in over 30 years. It was this data point which was key in opening up the basal Rotliegend play that we are now pursuing in the 4Quads, and the Gems  acreage.”

Bert Clever
Country Manager Netherlands & Germany


The H&L Blocks are located in the southwestern sector of the German North Sea immediately east of the Dutch/German median line and bordering the inshore area (Küstenmeerzone), north Germany to the south. The licence covers 2,572 sq km, with water depths ranging from 10 m to 40 m. The licence covers Blocks H15, H16, H17, H18, L1, L2, L3, L4 and L5.

Current Ownership


Winterhsall (Operator)




Hansa Hydrocarbons

Licence History

The B20008/71 licence was awarded to Wintershall (100%) on 1 June 2006 and following a work program which consisted of a regional study of the Southern German North Sea it was concluded that the 1975 L1-Alpha discovery merited further appraisal. In 2008 Wintershall sought partners to jointly participate in an appraisal well and Hansa farmed into the block for a 20% equity interest in December 2008 in exchange for funding a disproportionate share of the planned L1-2 appraisal well. Concurrently Wintershall assigned a 40% interest to ENGIE leaving the partnership with Wintershall as operator with 40%. On 31 May 2015 the German authorities agreed to extend the licence term to 31 May 2018.

The current licence interests are:

Winterhsall (operator)                         40%
ENGIE                                                              40%
Hansa Hydrocarbons                             20%

Facts and numbers


Hansa acquired interest from Wintershall


L1-2 appraisal well drilled

2,572 km²

extent of licenced area


The geological setting for the hydrocarbon potential in the H&L Blocks is the prolific gas bearing Rotliegendes sandstone reservoir. The closest producing reservoirs from the Rotliegendes sandstones are found in the giant Groningen field located only 55km to the south onshore Netherlands.
The licence contains several discoveries but due to a poor understanding of sand distribution and significant nitrogen presence, the area remains relatively under explored with no drilling activity for over 30 years. In 2007, Wintershall completed a major regional study covering onshore/offshore areas of Germany and the Netherlands. The study concluded significant remaining hydrocarbon potential is present, warranting further appraisal and exploration drilling activities.

The L1-Alpha discovery was made in 1975 and proved gas in the Lower Rotliegendes Havel sandstones with a well flow test of 6 mmscfd. No gas water contact was established with the well and given the nitrogen content of 19% and the poor understanding of sand distribution the discovery was left undeveloped.

Work Program

Appraisal well L1-2 was drilled in January 2010 in a water depth of 33m some 6.5km south from the L1-1 discovery well. The significant step-out location was chosen to fulfil the objectives of the well which were i) to determine the gas water contact of the L1-Alpha discovery and ii) to establish the development of the Havel sands across the structure. The well was drilled to a total final depth of 4320m after encountering water wet Havel sands.

The results of the well have now been fully incorporated into an updated geological understanding of the L1-Alpha discovery and surrounding prospectivity. This revised understanding confirms the on-block potential and justifies further appraisal. Given the lack of modern seismic data over the area, the acquisition of 3D seismic data over the two existing discoveries and identified prospectivity has been determined to be the most appropriate way forward. The planned execution of a large 3D survey will be subject to the receipt of the necessary environmental permits.

Field Development

The L1-Alpha discovery is located in a water depth of 33m and only 35km from a sub-sea tie-in point to the 36” NGT trunkline, offshore Netherlands. The gas quality from the L1-1 well test meets the requirements for export through the NGT pipeline and associated processing terminal at Uithuizen. Uithuizen delivers gas into both the Dutch and German local gas markets.

H&L Blocks - bottom of the page.Rotleigend Stratigraphy

Wider Upside Potential

Beyond the substantial upside potential available in untested closures on trend with the L1-Alpha discovery in the western part of the licence, there is a longer term strategic interest in the appraisal and development of the potentially large volumes of low calorific gas in the discoveries and untested structures in the eastern part of the licence. Advances in the development of low calorific burner-tips and nitrogen removal technologies combined with northern Germany’s low calorific pipeline network and blending ability mean that such reserves could be an important future strategic resource. This would form part of a separate and later campaign, possibly in conjunction with the development of other gas discoveries in the vicinity.