EU’s big­gest gas field run­ning low on stocks

The Myanmar Times - - International Business -

THE Gronin­gen nat­u­ral gas field, the largest in the Euro­pean Union, is run­ning out of re­serves, with an es­ti­mated 17 years left be­fore stocks will be de­pleted, the Nether­lands has an­nounced.

“Dutch nat­u­ral gas is nearly fin­ished,” said Peter Hein van Mul­li­gen, chief econ­o­mist at the coun­try’s Cen­tral Sta­tis­tics Bureau (CBS).

“Since nat­u­ral gas was dis­cov­ered in 1959 in Gronin­gen, we’ve used up some 80 per­cent of our re­serves. If the rate of ex­trac­tion stays the same, we’ll be out of gas in 17 years from now,” Mr Van Mul­li­gen said.

A drop in nat­u­ral gas prices and the Dutch govern­ment’s de­ci­sion over the last two years to scale down nat­u­ral gas ex­trac­tion in its earth­quake­prone north­ern prov­ince have also led to a sub­stan­tial de­cline in profit, the CBS econ­o­mist said.

In 2013, the govern­ment made around 13 bil­lion eu­ros (US$14.5 bil­lion) from nat­u­ral gas, but that dropped to around 5 bil­lion eu­ros last year.

The Hague an­nounced in June it was plan­ning to cut the Gronin­gen gas field’s pro­duc­tion by an­other 11.1pc – from a cur­rent 27 bil­lion cu­bic me­tres to 24 bil­lion cu­bic me­tres – over the next five years.

The cut­backs come af­ter a se­ries of tremors rocked Gronin­gen as a re­sult of the col­lapse of empty un­der­ground gas pock­ets, scar­ing res­i­dents and dam­ag­ing his­tor­i­cal build­ings. –

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