The Dutch government will extract a maximum of 2.8 billion cubic metres of gas from under Groningen province between now and October 2023, mines minister Hans Vijlbrief told MPs on Tuesday.
All 11 fields will remain ‘technically’ open and a decision will be taken next April on closing six of them, Vijlbrief said in his briefing.
The Groningen fields are due to shut down completely because of the earthquakes which are being caused as the land settles once gas has been removed. The fields will be closed in 2023 or 2024, if the geo-political situation allows it, Vijlbrief said.
Vijlbrief said he would only sanction an increase in gas extraction is if hospitals had trouble ensuring proper heating and if people’s safety was at risk this winter.
The government had been urged to reopen the fields to meet demand caused by the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis.
In the year to this October, some 4.5 billion cubic metres of gas was produced from the Groningen fields. The fields are capable of supplying some 25 billion cubic metres of gas a year.
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