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A sustainable gas system

In the Netherlands, we are winding down natural gas production: the Groningen field is close to being closed, and production from the small fields is falling. Homes and businesses are cutting their energy consumption year after year and switching to other, more sustainable energy sources. Still, the need for natural gas remains high.

Even though we are increasingly switching from natural gas to solar, wind and other renewables, there is still too little of these to meet the total demand. And all the while the large-scale production of other sustainable energy sources and carriers, such as green gas and hydrogen, still needs to get off the ground. That sustainable gas system remains the ambition in the Netherlands, meaning it’s our ambition too.

So we will continue to use natural gas for now, extracting as much of it as possible in the Netherlands, but no more than what we need to meet demand. Natural gas sourced locally is better for the climate, the economy and the reliability of our energy supply. It makes us less dependent on foreign suppliers. What’s more, we can use the gas infrastructure to transmit and store green energy in the future.

EBN is committed to the safe, responsible and accelerated extraction of Dutch natural gas – mainly from small fields under the North Sea – for as long as it is still needed. In supplying this gas, we will reduce emissions where possible, for example by lowering the compression on transmission pipelines. And naturally we will continue to coordinate our operations with other users of the busy North Sea. We extract gas as part of our statutory role and based on our social responsibility: it is our job to ensure that energy remains available and affordable for everyone in the Netherlands.

Part of that entails making sure that gas storage facilities are maintained, like how, on the instruction of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy we supplied some of the gas to fill the Bergermeer gas storage facility in 2022. And we will do that again in 2023. This way we ensure that there is enough natural gas in the winter to meet peak demand.

We are also providing our insights in the discussions about the next service life phase of gas infrastructure that is no longer being used for its original purpose. Our motto: dismantle where necessary, reuse where possible. Many platforms, wells and pipelines could be repurposed for the future production and transmission of hydrogen, or for carbon storage.

With this approach, we are not only doing what is best for today’s energy supply, but we are also taking serious steps towards achieving our ambition of having a sustainable gas system.