‘Gas production from small Dutch fields is better than imports’, says cabinet

Photo: Depositphotos.com
Photo: Depositphotos.com

The Dutch cabinet would prefer to extract gas from small marginal sites than to increase imports from Norway or Russia as long as extraction is safe and responsible, the Financieele Dagblad said on Thursday.

Plans to deal with gas extraction from smaller, mainly offshore fields,  were published in a briefing to parliament by economic affairs minister Eric Wiebes who earlier announced plans to wind down production from the big Groningen fields because of safety concerns.

Wiebes has raised the investment premium for new investments for the exploration and development of marginal North Sea gas fields to 40% from 25% partly as a means of keeping energy companies from moving North Sea operations to Britain.

Provisionally gas extraction is possible in 240 marginal gas fields, 60% of which are located offshore. A total of 335 billion m3 of gas could be produced up to 2050, producing revenues of up to €38bn for the treasury, the briefing said.

The cabinet is convinced of the advantages of gas extraction from the smaller fields over increasing imports, saying it would be better for the climate, for employment and for the economy.

In addition, keeping smaller fields in operation will help retain the know-how for deep well technology and make use of the existing transport infrastructure, Wiebes said.

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