The Netherlands imported more gas than it produced in 2017 for the first time, the national statistics office CBS said on Thursday.
The rise in imports came as domestic production was reduced, due largely to earthquake-related problems in northern Groningen province. Production from Dutch fields will be sharply reduced from this year onward until the Dutch gas tap is turned off completely in 2030 because of the earthquake damage.
As a result, the Netherlands increased imports of gas, mostly from Norway where imports reached 743 petajoule last year. Imports from Britain and Germany (which includes Russian-sourced gas) were also up sharply over the past five years.
Traditionally the Netherlands was a net exporter of gas and between 2000 and 2013 it exported twice as much gas as it imported. But imports began to rise in 2013.
Total Dutch energy consumption reached 3,150 petajoule in 2017, roughly the same as in the previous year, the CBS said.