Total state revenue from natural gas extraction in the Netherlands since 1965 reached a total of €416.8 billion, the Dutch statistical office CBS announced on Tuesday.
"29 May 1959 – now 60 years ago – marks the discovery of Europe’s largest gas field near Slochteren in the Dutch province of Groningen. The discovery gave vital importance to natural gas as a source in the Dutch national energy supply," the CBS said.
The office highlighted that by the mid-1970s, natural gas accounted for approximately half of the total energy supply of the Netherlands.
CBS explained that its statistics show that over a period of 60 years more than 80% of this huge gas field has been used up deriving natural gas revenues over this period of almost €417 billion.
In comparison, state revenues in 2018 totalled €337 billion, the CBS said, adding that revenues from natural gas have mainly oscillated due to natural gas price fluctuations.
- Gas extraction down by almost half
CBS underlined that the total extractable quantity of natural gas from the Groningen field is currently estimated at 2,740 billion cubic meters (bcm), with one-fifth of this quantity still underground.
However, the occurrence of earthquakes in Groningen led to a commitment by the central government to reduce gas extraction from 2015. A particularly severe quake at the beginning of 2018 even led to the decision to completely turn off the gas tap in Groningen by the year 2030.
"This substantial measure to scale back gas extraction has left a clear mark on total gas extraction in the Netherlands: in 2018, approximately 36.5 bcm was extracted, a reduction by almost half relative to 2014," the office said.
Therefore, the scaling down of the gas extraction in Groningen has led to a sharp rise in gas imports over the past few years and in 2018, gas imports exceeded exports for the first time.
"The bulk of natural gas supplies now comes from Norway. In the period 1996–2018, the Netherlands had a natural gas-related trade surplus amounting to approximately €110 billion," the CBS concluded.
By Ebru Sengul