The cabinet will determine before 1 April how much gas must be definitively released from the Groningen field.
Factory ready later
The adjustment of the amount of gas to be pumped has two causes. Because the nitrogen plant in Zuidbroek is ready later than planned, there is not enough low-calorific gas that is used in Dutch households. As a result, security of supply can no longer be guaranteed from April.
The second reason is related to the increased demand for gas from Germany. This is because energy-saving measures in Germany prove less effective than expected.
In response to the possible decision to extract more gas, engineering firm TNO has been asked to perform another seismic threat and risk analysis for Groningen. The State Supervision of Mines will advise on the safety risks on this basis.
“We are looking at what effect this has on safety. It was previously calculated by TNO that extracting 7.5 billion cubic meters of gas has little or no effect. Nevertheless, we have requested additional calculations based on these new figures. the State Supervision of Mines for additional advice and on that basis the final gas decision will be adopted before April 1, “says the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
‘Extra Groningen gas to Germany is bitter’
Political reporter Marieke van de Zilver calls the extra gas extraction a bitter pill for the cabinet. “Gas extraction in Groningen has been phased out much faster than expected in recent years. Nevertheless, it is very sensitive that the tap will have to be opened further this year than was previously said. It will cause extra distrust among Groningers, who already did not feel that the government takes them seriously,” says Van de Zilver.
“The fact that the gas tap would have to be opened further to compensate for the delay at the nitrogen plant in Zuidbroek was a possibility that the ministry had already taken serious account of recently, but that extra Groningen gas also has to be sent to Germany is a bittersweet experience. The new minister will have to talk to the Germans in the near future to keep the supply as low as possible, but the question is whether that will work.”