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Netherlands Shuts Down Largest Gas Field in Europe

April 21, 2024 (EIRNS)—The Netherlands government officially shut down production in the Groningen gas field, the largest gas field in Europe, on April 19. It was discovered in 1959, and went into production in 1963. Its original recoverable reserves were in the range of 2.7 to 2.8 trillion cubic meters (tcm) (95 to 99 trillion cubic feet).

According to RT: “Since October 2023, the gas field has been producing only a fraction of its full capacity following years of production cuts aimed at reducing the risk of earthquakes that the process causes in the region, which have damaged thousands of buildings over the years. However, its 11 wells remain open in case of a severe winter and due to the uncertain international situation with regard to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“Earlier this week, the Dutch Senate approved a law to close the gas field for good after the government pledged that production would never be resumed in order to limit seismic risks in the region….

“Prior to the launch of Moscow’s military operation against Ukraine, a quarter of the Netherlands’ gas imports were sourced from Russia, according to the country’s statistics agency. In 2023, the share of Russian natural gas accounted for less than 9% of the country’s imports.”

According to the European Council, the top suppliers of natural gas for Europe now are Norway and the United States, with Norway providing nearly 30%; additional suppliers include some North African countries, the U.K. and Qatar. The U.S. is the largest supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the EU, representing almost 50% of total LNG imports.

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