Groningen gas field

From Global Energy Monitor

Groningen gas field is a producing gas field in the Netherlands.[1]


The map below shows the center point of the Groningen gas field, near Slochteren in Groningen province in the northeastern part of the Netherlands.[2] Groningen covers 900 square kilometers, the full extent of the field can be seen on this map.

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Groningen was discovered in 1959 and began production in 1963.[1] At the time of discovery, it was the largest natural gas field in the world. It is still considered the largest natural gas field in Europe[3] and the ninth-largest in the world.[4] In was discovered in 1959 and began production in 1963.[1] As of 2020, 2,237.34 billion normal cubic meters of gas had been extracted from Groningen since 1971.[5] In the early 2010s, Groningen was expected to produce gas until around 2080.[6]

In 2009, the field consisted of about 300 wells, spread over 29 production clusters.[3] By 2016, it had 258 wells, spread over 22 production clusters.[6]

After protests in Groningen because of the increase in induced earthquakes, whose event count shows an exponential growth in time, the Dutch government decided on 17 January 2014 to cut output from the gas field and pay those affected by the earthquake a compensation worth 1.2 billion Euro, spread over a period of 5 years. Since 2018, the Dutch government has been responsible for decision-making about production from the field.[7] It said production would be cut in 2014 and 2015 to 42.5 bcm (billion cubic metres) and in 2016 to 40 bcm.[8]

The State Supervision of Mines has brought forward that the production level should be cut back to 30 bcm to avoid the more severe quakes. As of January 2015, no houses had been reinforced, nothing has been done about many seriously damaged buildings, and the risk of severe quakes, possibly resulting in collapsed buildings, injuries and death.[9][10] In June 2016, the Netherlands' National Mines Inspectorate advised the Dutch Government to reduce production even further to 24 bcm per year.[11] On 23 September 2016 Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte confirmed that gas extraction from the northern Groningen gas field will be held at 24 bcm per year for the coming five years.[12]

On March 29, 2018, the Dutch government decided to reduce the production of Groningen gas as quickly as possible from 21.6 bcm per year to zero by 2030[13] for safety reasons.[14]

In September 2019, the Dutch government announced a further acceleration of the decommissioning of the field, aiming to have production "no longer be necessary in from mid-2022." The 2019 Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy "Natural resources and geothermal energy in the Netherlands" Annual Report stated "if the phase-out proceeds according to plan, the field can be closed permanently in 2025/2026." [15][16]

In February 2021, the Dutch government decided to further reduce the field's forecasted gas output from 8.1 bcm to 3.9 bcm in the the 2021-2022 gas year. According the Enerdata, "after 2022, the field will be used as a reserve during an extremely cold situation and it should close in 2025-2026." The Dutch government has said that decreased production from the Groningen should not be offset by increasing production from the small gas fields in the country.[17]


According to the New York Times, "decades of extraction [at Groningen] has reduced pressure on the gas-bearing rocks below the surface, causing them to contract. That has led the ground to sink by about a foot, and earthquakes have rumbled. More than a thousand tremors have been recorded since the mid-1980s. Thousands of homes and buildings have been damaged, including some of the region’s rich stock of medieval churches. Residents readily say they fear harm should quakes shake loose chimneys or ceilings."[7]

As a result, the Dutch government has announced plans to decommission the field. As of February 2021, regular production at the field is expected to cease by Spring 2022.[17]

Project Details

  • Operator: Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij B.V.[1]
  • Owners: Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij B.V. [60%]; EBN B.V.  [40%][18]
  • Parent company: Royal Dutch Shell [30%]; ExxonMobil [30%][7][19]
  • Location: near Slochteren in Groningen province in the northeastern part of the Netherlands
  • Coordinates: 53.2870, 6.8200[20]
  • Status: Producing[21]
  • Reserves:
    • Estimate the initial recoverable reserves: 2,900 billion normal cubic metres[22]
    • Remaining: 17.5 billion normal cubic meters[15]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Datacenter | NLOG". Retrieved 2021-02-12.
  2. "Files interactive map | NLOG". Retrieved 2021-02-13.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The Groningen Gas Field". GEO ExPro. 2009-04-01. Retrieved 2021-02-13.
  4. "The Largest Natural Gas Fields In The World". WorldAtlas. Retrieved 2021-02-13.
  5. "Gas- en oliewinning". (in Nederlands). Retrieved 2021-02-13.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Groningen gasfield | NLOG". Retrieved 2021-02-13.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Reed, Stanley (2019-10-24). "Earthquakes Are Jolting the Netherlands. Gas Drilling Is to Blame. (Published 2019)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-02-13.
  8. "Dutch to cut output from huge Groningen gas field". Reuters. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  9. "Minister visits earthquake-damaged homes in Groningen". 17 December 2014.
  10. Toby Sterling (23 June 2015). "UPDATE 2-Dutch government cuts Groningen gas field production". Reuters. Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  11. "Dutch agency calls for further cut in Groningen gas after Oct. 1". Reuters. 22 June 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  12. "Dutch government confirms cut in Groningen gas output". Reuters. 23 September 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016.
  13. Evert van de Graaf, W. J.; van Geuns, Lucia; Boersma, Tim (July 2018). "THE TERMINATION OF GRONINGEN GAS PRODUCTION—BACKGROUND AND NEXT STEPS" (PDF). Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  14. "Dutch to stop drilling for gas under Groningen by 2030". 2018-03-29.
  15. 15.0 15.1 TNO-Advisory Group for Economic Affairs (July 2020). "Natural resources and geothermal energy in the Netherlands - Annual Review 2019" (PDF). Directorate General of Climate and Energy of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  16. "Gaswinning Groningen stopt al in 2022". 2019-09-10.
  17. 17.0 17.1 "The Netherlands caps Groningen gas production at 3.9 bcm in 2021-2022 | Enerdata". Retrieved 2021-02-13.
  18. "Europe - Shell Investors' Handbook 2014-2018". Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  19. "Europe - Shell Investors' Handbook 2014-2018". Retrieved 2021-02-12.
  20. "Files interactive map | NLOG". Retrieved 2021-02-12.
  21. "Datacenter | NLOG". Retrieved 2021-02-12.
  22. "Groningen gasfield | NLOG". Retrieved 2021-02-13.

External resources

Wikipedia also has an article on the Groningen gas field. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.