Dutch 2015 gas production target remains in place despite earthquake concerns
THE HAGUE, January 30, 2015 – Dutch Minister of the Economy Henk Kamp has ruled out further reductions in natural gas production in the Netherlands. The gas-rich northern province of Groningen, where exploration-related earthquakes are a frequent occurrence, announced today it would consider appealing the decision, claiming that the people’s safety in the province “cannot be guaranteed.”
When the Dutch government increased its annual gas production from 47.8 bcm (1.69 tcf) in 2012 to 53.9 bcm (1.9 tcf) in 2013, the number of registered tremors rose from 102 to a record-number of 127 per year. As a result, gas output was lowered to 42.4 bcm (1.5 tcf) in 2014, which reduced the number of earthquakes to 86. This year’s gas exploration target is set at 39.4 bcm (1.4 tcf). Dutch parliament will debate Kamp’s decision during a session in mid-February.
The Netherlands is home to proven natural gas reserves of about 900 bcm (30.1 tcf), the seventh-largest volume in Europe and the Eurasian region.