Go to home page

In the EU Gas Shortage, Why Is the Netherlands Cutting Production?

Oct. 23, 2021 (EIRNS)—Brussels is blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin for causing gas shortages in the EU. As ridiculous as can be, the established media and politicians trumpet EUligarchs’ lie around. But nobody mentions that the Netherlands, once a major provider of gas to Europe, is curbing its production right now.

The Dutch government had decided to shut down the Groningen gas field, for fear of earthquakes, and began to wind it down last year. Earlier this month, Dutch Home Affairs Minister Kajsa Ollongren and Economic Affairs Minister Stef Blok said that the government will not increase natural gas production from the Groningen fields to head off the impact of soaring gas prices. The gas taps will only be turned on again if there are very cold winters, not for price rises, the ministers said.

If reactivated fully in an emergency, Groningen could alleviate the scarcity. It delivered 88 billion cubic meters (bcm) at its peak in 1976 and above 30 bcm just five years ago. Natural gas production in the Netherlands has been falling in recent years, and in 2020 totaled 20 bcm, which was the lowest production of natural gas in the Netherlands since the turn of the century.

Gas consumption in the EU amounted to 521 bcm in 2019, and it dropped to 380 bcm in 2020, due to lockdowns. As demand resumed this year, and Russia’s Gazprom increased its supply, the Dutch could help fill the gap. But maybe the Dutch government wants to let “creative destruction” have its way...

For Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a precise and quantitative explanation at the Valdai Discussion Club on Oct. 21 on the entire “energy crisis” in Europe, in his exchange with Bloomberg News correspondent Mark Champion.

Back to top    Go to home page clear