RAG Facility Tour – Austria’s Oldest Oil Field

We arrived in Zistersdorf after driving through the picturesque Lower Austrian wine (and oil) region Weinviertel, and were welcomed at RAG’s field office by their Head of Reservoir Management Michael Krassnitzer and the Geologist Hans-Gert Linzer. Our students got an interesting introduction to both the company and the geology of the Gaiselberg field – a peculiar field in several regards:

Due to its status of being a “Grubenfeld” (With its almost 80 years, the Gaiselberg field is one of the oldest oil fields in Austria.), the operator does not have to pay royalties, which is a big advantage at low oil prices; furthermore, the field is very well drilled despite its small size – more than 90 wells on only 4 square kilometers! This is necessary due to a very complex geology caused by the famous Steinberg fault.

After enjoying lunch in the office building, we were taken to several facilities in the environs of Zistersdorf, following the oil production from the well to the export lines. Our first stop was the Gaiselberg 86 well and the central production facilities close by. The SPE members got an impression of how the produced oil is separated from the (unfortunately much more) water and the gas. RAG pursues a very efficient way of using the produced fluids to a maximum: The gas is sold locally to be turned into electrical power, whereas the water is cleaned and reinjected into the reservoir. And most importantly the oil – the black gold is metered and pumped to the tank farm close to the refinery in Schwechat. The whole trip through the production facilities was accompanied by the favorite smell of our students – the smell of crude oil at noon.


Our next stop was RAG’s own workshop, where a few mechanics do repair jobs on almost all the tools RAG uses in the field. Packers, polished rods or tubing anchors – you name it, they repair them there! This gave our group the unique opportunity of seeing a great variety of standard oil field tools hands on, and have their functionality explained to us by those who know best, the people who use them day by day.

The highlight of the excursion was the visit of the Gaiselberg 1 well, Austria’s oldest producing well! Located on a gentle hill, this gave our group a view of the beauty of Lower Austria. Moreover, we took the opportunity to get to know two innovations of RAG. Firstly, we were introduced to one of Prof. Hofstätter’s inventions, a small electrical device which rotates the sucker rod string in order to allow for a more uniform wear on the rod string. After that, the students could hear about the MURAG system. This innovative system sold to companies all around the world provides continuous measurement of the fluid level inside a well.


Concluding our trip to Lower Austria, the SPE group went to a tank farm in Zistersdorf. There we heard about the necessity of storing crude oil for emergency situations. Moreover, we were shown the fully automated fire extinguishing system on the tanks.

We would like to thank RAG for their warm welcome and their hospitality. Without your sponsorship and your great team of guides, this truly amazing excursion would not have been possible!

Career | Two internships at TAG

Are you still struggling with internships and haven’t had luck so far to find a job for this summer? Well we are happy to announce that Trans Austrian Gasleitung GmbH is offering two internships in different fields.

Trans Austria Gasleitung GmbH is a natural gas undertaking responsible for the transportation of natural gas as well as the acquisition, construction, expansion and operation of the required transportation systems and especially for the conclusion of Transportation Contracts as well as the accomplishment of related activities.

Facts about the internships:

  • paid internships
  • duration will be between 1 to 3 months
  • location of work will be in their Headquarter in Vienna
  • Praktikant/in im Bereich Gasmessung
  • Praktikant/in im Bereich System Management

They are looking forward to receiving your application under the email address in the PDF’s – make sure you read trough the attached files if your application fits.

We wish you good luck and hopefully two of you will be able to get this opportunity.

Your SPE Student Chapter Leoben

Praktikant/in im Bereich Gasmessung Praktikant/in im Bereich System Management

EAGE Conference 2016 in Vienna

From the 30th of May to the 2nd of June the 78th EAGE-Conference took place in Vienna. This conference is mainly dedicated to geologists, geophysicists and reservoir engineers, but in combination with the SPE EUROPEC this event provides a great frame for all the other petroleum engineering disciplines as well. Three students from the SPE Student Chapter Leoben visited the conference. This is a short summary about their visit.

On the 30th of May the president of the EAGE-Organisation officially opened the conference. This was followed by a panel discussion. Representatives from the industry and the head of our university Dr. Eichlseder discussed about the opportunities for young people in the current crisis. Afterwards dinner was served in the exhibition area. The day was concluded by meeting our friends from the SPE Student Chapter RWTH Aachen.

On the second day the oral sessions and poster sessions started. As usual for such a conference it is impossible to visit all of them. Therefore the following paragraphs summarize the highlights during these days.

The session about Integrated Asset Development featured a presentation about the development of the Komsomolskoye field. This field is in a remote location in Kazakhstan and requires special approaches to develop it profitably. Further information can be found via the following link: The Komsomolskoye Field-Fast Track Development of a Remote Oilfield using a Blend of Horizontal and Vertical Wells

The poster session about source rocks featured one presentation about Light Hydrocarbons Geochemistry of Oils Trapped in the Austrian Foreland Basin. This topic is directly related to the Montanuiversitaet Leoben, because the study was carried out at the chair of Petroleum Geology. An extended abstract can be found via the following link: Light Hydrocarbons Geochemistry of Oils Trapped in the Austrian Foreland Basin

One of the best oral sessions was the one which was conducted by Christian Burgstaller from RAG. His topic was about using fluid level data to optimize production. A new and innovative system which was developed by RAG together with some other companies constantly measures the fluid level in the wellbore. The generated data can then be used directly to optimize the pump that produces from the wellbore. The original paper can be found via the following link: New Approaches of Using Fluid Level Data for Production Optimization and Reservoir Engineering Applications

Besides the technical and research parts, there were also enough opportunities for social events, especially for students. The student evening which took place at the campus of the University of Economics featured some traditional Austrian delights and music to get in touch with students from around the world.

For an additional fee it was also possible to visit the official conference evening in the Marx Hall. Austrian kitchen was combined with live music and a Waltz performance.

Finally if we make an overall conclusion about this event, we can say that it was a great opportunity to gather new experiences, grow the personal network and just enjoy the atmosphere.

If you want to find out about such a conference by yourself you need to be patient until next year. The 79th EAGE Conference & Exhibition (12-15 June 2017) is going to be in Paris.

Main Excursion 2016: Hamburg, Germany

Finally, by the mid of May our plane took off to the North.  For sure we had to start our trip with a night out at the famous ‘Reeperbahn’, although getting up the next day was really hard. However, on the second day we went to the warehouse district and as well did a harbor cruise. We all were fascinated by the huge redbrick houses and the hurly-burly of the harbor life. Especially the ‘Elbphilharmonie’, which is going to be a huge concert hall, is worth a look.

On the third day we finally started our petroleum related trips and first went to the ‘Erdöl Museum’ in Wietze. It was really nice so all the old equipment and compare it to the techniques we use nowadays. As soon-to-be professionals we even were allowed to go on an old land rig, which is built up in front of the museum. The next day half of us went to visit the Fangmann Group in Salzwedel, where we heard a lot of interest facts about energy services. The other half of us had to get up really early. It was the first day to visit the ‘Mittelplate’ Offshore Platform, which clearly was going to be a highlight of our trip. The platform is equally run by two german companies, DEA and Wintershall. Per year the Mittelplate oilfield produces around 1,4 million tons of oil. We had the chance to talk to the workers in the dog house while they were drilling, as well as see every other important part of the platform before the boat took us back to Cuxhaven in the evening. On our last day the second eight students went offshore, while the rest got the opportunity to spend a day with the professionals from the DEA headquarters in Hamburg, which was the perfect closure for our field trip.

A big thank you goes to all the students who took part, and especially to the companies, which made it possible to explore the petroleum world of Northern Germany in only five days.