Extraction of gas from the Groningen field will stop from 1 October 2023, the Dutch Government has announced.
The gas wells will remain open for another year to supply gas to the country in “very exceptional situations” such as severe cold weather or shortage of gas due to volatile geopolitical situations.
Beginning on 1 October 2024, the final 11 production locations will be permanently closed, as reported in Offshore Technology on 16 June.
Located in the north-eastern Netherlands, the Groningen field is said to be one of the largest natural gas fields in the world.
The field has been a major gas provider for much of Western Europe since production started in 1963.
However, because of the earthquakes that the Groningen field has caused, officials have been under pressure to close it.
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Since the 1980s, hundreds of earthquakes have damaged thousands of homes, sparking strong local hostility towards the field.
Netherlands State Secretary for the Extractive Industries Hans Vijlbrief said: “Gas extraction in Groningen will stop. An important moment after decades of gas extraction and especially the consequences of that gas extraction for Groningen residents.
“The problems of Groningen residents have not yet been resolved and unfortunately the earthquakes will continue for years to come, but the source of all misery will be closed from October.”
While the Groningen field currently makes up only a small portion of Europe’s overall gas output, it offers a sizable prospective supply buffer and if there was another energy crisis or a very severe winter, it would take around two weeks to reopen the wells.