Dire forecast for Dutch gas productionThe Dutch shelf with inset graph of High-Mid-Low gas production cases according to the report.

Dire forecast for Dutch gas production

According to a new report, imported Russian gas might be the future source for Dutch gas customers due to politics, public opinion, and lack of investors.

In a new report released last week by The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, the forecast for Dutch gas producers shows a deterioration towards 2030:

Three possible scenarios for 2030 are outlined in the report:

A high-case where gas production is around 10-12 BcM/year, in accordance with the Dutch government expectations. In 2018, the Dutch production was 35 BcM.

One mid-case, where only 5 BcM comes from Dutch producers.

Finally, the low-case sees a complete cessation of the Dutch gas production by 2035, due to decreasing production results and higher unit operating costs.

The deterioration since 2010 comes from a current poor investment climate, production-induced earthquakes as high as magnitude 3.6 in the supergiant Groningen gas field area, and a public concern on the emergence of climate change as a key issue for the Dutch society.

The last point has led non-governmental organizations to point to the shut-down of national gas producers as a quick-fix to mitigate climate change.

Also, political support and regulatory measures have changed for well drilling in exploration and development. There has also been a fall in gas prices, and increasing competition from LNG.

However, gas consumption in NW Europe has been stable for the last years, and this is likely to continue. Netherland will still be a consumer of natural gas for many years to come, but in 2030 this gas may origin mainly from Russia with significantly higher upstream emissions of CO2 compared to domestic upstream emissions.

According to the report, replacing local gas production in a country with low methane emissions, with long-transported LNG, does not comply with mitigating climate change.