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    Netherlands set to almost double Groningen quota amid supply crunch


Dutch authorities have previously ruled out any revision to the plan.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Netherlands set to almost double Groningen quota amid supply crunch

The Dutch government said on January 6 it expected to raise the production quota for the giant Groningen field this year, after predicting a shortage in low-calorie gas supplies.

Dutch authorities have previously ruled out any adjustments to production quotas at the gas field, the largest in Europe, despite the continent enduring its worst energy crunch in decades. The field is undergoing a phased closure because of the earthquakes that its production activities cause, and is due to stop pumping gas altogether in late 2022.

In a statement, the Dutch economy ministry said it expected to increase the amount of gas permitted to be produced at Groningen in the year that started on October 1, 2021, to 7.6bn m3, from a previous quota of 3.9bn m3. The move is necessary to ensure energy security in the Netherlands and Europe, the ministry said.

According to the ministry, the revision follows delays in the construction of a new site in Zuidbroek that would convert imported high-calorie gas into low-calorie gas that the Dutch gas system is mostly designed for. The facility was meant to come online by April this year, but its launch has been postponed to the third quarter. Secondly, German demand for low-calorie gas is now projected to be higher this gas year when previously expected.

If the quota is revised, this will mean Groningen only produces a little less gas in 2021-2022 than it did in 2020-2021, when 7.77bn m3 was extracted. But the ministry insisted that Groningen would still be closed later this year as planned.