The Strategist

The Netherlands to close the EU’s largest gas field in 2023

01/25/2023 - 07:03

The biggest gas field in Europe will be shut off by the Netherlands in 2023.

Groningen, the largest gas field in Europe, will be shut down by the Dutch government in 2023 because Hans Vijlbrief, state secretary for extractive industries, believes that continuing with production would be "extremely unsafe" due to earthquakes.

He stated that although the ultimate choice would depend on whether there would be a gas shortage in Europe after the winter, he would like to suspend all construction on the field by October 1. The official stated that if necessary, the field would remain open for an additional year, or until October 2024.

According to Vijlbrief, the subterranean reservoir is now only being constructed to a small portion of its ultimate capacity. However, he ruled out the prospect of increasing gas production at the location. "We won't be producing any more due to safety concerns. Politically, it cannot be supported at all. In addition, I won't do anything since doing so would make earthquakes more likely, and I don't want to be accountable for that," he explained.

Due to the sharp decline in Russian gas exports in 2022, there was increased pressure on the Netherlands to pump up production in the Groningen field. However, the Netherlands did not give in and instead delayed plans to close the field while reducing annual production to the required level of 2.8 billion cubic meters.



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