Tuesday 20 August 2019

Dutch gas production falls by over 25%, as earthquake issue bites

Gas flameThe volume of gas produced in the Netherlands’ gas fields fell by over 25% last year, as the government reduced the amount extracted from under Groningen province because of the earthquake risk.

Total production was just over 51 billion cubic metres, of which 29 billion cubic metres came from the northern province. Economic affairs minister Henk Kamp had pledged to keep Groningen production to below 30 billion cubic metres to minimise the risk of quakes.

To meet local demand, imports were increased significantly. The Netherlands imported 36 billion cubic metres of gas, mainly from Russia and Norway. This is up 10 billion cubic metres on a year ago.

This year the government has pledged to keep gas production in Groningen to below 27 billion cubic metres following a court ruling.

The cut will have a €1.5bn impact on the treasury but will not lead to spending cuts, finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said at the end of last year.

Tens of thousands of homes in the province have to be shored up because of the damage caused by earthquakes as the ground settles when the gas has been extracted.

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