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EBN and natural gas

We have taken natural gas as an energy source for granted for many decades. We have used it to heat our homes, in manufacturing and industry, to generate electricity and more.

In the Netherlands, our current energy system is largely based on this source. But the role of natural gas is set to decline as the amount of renewable energy increases.

What role does natural gas play in the Dutch energy transition?

Natural gas is extracted at various locations in the Netherlands. Gas will still be needed over the coming decades to heat a large proportion of Dutch homes, offices, shops and hospitals. And as long as this gas is still needed, extracting natural gas safely and responsibly in the Netherlands will help us reduce our dependence on imported gas. What’s more, natural gas produced in the Netherlands has much lower carbon emissions than natural gas imported from abroad. There are a number of stages involved in gas extraction, which is carried out at more than 250 locations in the Netherlands.

The image shows the development stages of a natural gas project. It starts with a exploration stage of seismic surveys followed by the exploration stage. The next year, sometimes 2 years, will be taken up by the design stage. This is followed by the drilling and building stage of 6 - 12 months. The next ten to twenty years the completed project will produce natural gas. After this production stage the area is cleaned up and repurposed.

The stages of a natural gas project.

Role of EBN in Dutch gas extraction

EBN was set up as a national ‘policy holding’ of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy to represent the Dutch State’s social and economic interests in the subsurface resources in the Netherlands. The Dutch government has appointed EBN as a designated party for the extraction and sale of natural gas. To ensure effective exploration and production, EBN has a share in virtually all gas fields and extraction sites, as well as in offshore pipelines.

Role of EBN in Dutch gas storage

Gas stores are drawn on during periods of higher demand for natural gas, in the winter for example. Storing natural gas ensures that there is also sufficient gas to meet peak demand, making these stores a vital instrument in the security of supply.

EBN has a 40% stake (on behalf of the Dutch State) in all natural gas storage facilities in the Netherlands. For gas storage, EBN partners with NAM (Norg, Grijpskerk) and TAQA Energy (Bergermeer, Alkmaar). EBN has been given a remit by the Dutch government to see that Dutch gas storage facilities are filled to the levels agreed within the EU following the loss of Russian natural gas supplies.

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Nicolien Vrisou van Eck Business Unit Director Gas Transition Submit your question
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Do you have a question about this topic? Please contact Nicolien Vrisou van Eck, Business Unit Director Gas Transition.

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