This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Dutch government to end Groningen gas production eight years earlier than planned

10 September 2019

Gas production at the Groningen field in the Netherlands will be halted entirely by 2022, eight years earlier than initially planned by the Dutch government, broadcaster NOS reported on September 10. Citing anonymous government sources, NOS said production would be capped below 12 billion cubic metres (bcm) in the 12 months through October 2020. The government had previously set a production cap for the period at 15.9 bcm. 

Netherlands gas production by area 2008 - Image: Wikimedia
Netherlands gas production by area 2008 - Image: Wikimedia

The province of Groningen has been hit by a series of earthquakes due to ground settlement after gas extraction, the latest at 3.4 on the Richter scale in May. This has resulted in damage to many buildings and infrastructure installations.

After an earlier 3.4 quake in January 2018, the government pledged to end production by 2030 and to lower it as quickly as possible in coming years.

Output at the Groningen field, which is operated by NAM, a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil, was due to to fall to 19.4 bcm in the year through October 2019, down from a 2013 peak of 54 bcm.

Residents demanding an outright stoppage took their fight to the highest court in the Netherlands early this year. In March, Dutch MPs unanimously backed a call for a parliamentary inquiry into continued gas extraction in the province.

After last year’s quake, gas sector regulator SodM said production should be cut to less than 12 bcm as soon as possible to minimise seismic risks.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte said everyone had been optimistic about the discovery of the vast gas field under the province in in the 1950s, but it had now “turned into a nightmare”.

Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page