Over the years not only our name changed, but also our public tasks and our mission. Discover EBN’s history.
Entrepreneur in subsurface
In the early nineteen sixties, a large gas field was found under Groningen. The state had to ensure that the gas could be extracted in a cost-effective and commercially responsible manner and that Dutch society would benefit from this as much as possible. It was therefore deemed necessary that the Dutch state would play a prominent role in the extraction and distribution of this gas.
The state appointed Staatsmijnen (later DSM) to participate in the extraction and distribution of gas. In 1963, Staatsmijnen, Shell and ExxonMobil entered into a Cooperation Agreement (CA). The objective of this CA was to coordinate the production, transportation and distribution of Groningen natural gas and the distribution of gas produced elsewhere in the Netherlands.
When the CA was entered into, the Groningen Partnership was established to manage the production of Groningen natural gas. In this partnership, DSM (now EBN) has a 40 percent interest, while Shell and ExxonMobil both have an interest of 30 percent. On top of that, the State receives a royalty of 10 percent on the gross profit.
The NAM (Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij, a joint venture of Shell and ExxonMobil) is responsible for the actual production of the gas. For the sale of the gas, the public limited company Nederlandse Gasunie was established (split into Gasunie and GasTerra in 2015). Staatsmijnen participated for 40 percent, with Shell and Exxonmobil each participating with an interest of 25 percent. The state participated directly with an interest of 10 percent. Gasunie was obliged to purchase all the offered gas (including non-Groningen gas).
DSM becomes EBN
In order to achieve more clarity concerning the gas interests, all government holdings in Dutch natural gas were transferred to the separate legal entity DSM Aardgas B.V. in 1973, with shares remaining the property of DSM. During the flotation of DSM in 1989, the state took over all shares of DSM Aardgas B.V. At the same time, the name of DSM Aardgas B.V. was changed to Energie Beheer Nederland B.V. (EBN). The range of tasks and the working relationship with DSM remained unchanged.
On 1 January 2006, DSM’s managerial responsibility for EBN also came to an end. Since then, EBN is an independent company where the executive team reports to an independent supervisory board. Halfway through 2006, EBN opened an office in Utrecht. On 1 January 2008, the office in Utrecht became the head office and the office in Heerlen was closed.
In 2008, the public tasks of EBN were recorded in the Mining Act. Amongst other things, these tasks include:
- participating in the exploration for and production of oil and gas;
- participating in production-related activities, including the sales, transport and storage of natural gas and oil;
- performing tasks related to the Gasgebouw;
- performing other tasks in the general interest of energy policy.
In 2011, EBN’s name given in the Articles of Association was changed into EBN B.V.
In 2016, EBN formulated three strategic priorities to give substance to its role and activities:
EBN’s mission was changed in 2019 to: ‘EBN, as the binding force in the energy transition, makes use of the value of the subsurface for the future of life aboveground’.