As unusually cold temperatures hit the Netherlands this week, thermostats across the country are being cranked up. Will that mean that the gas operations in Groningen will be restarting? Thanks to gas reserves in the town of Langelo in Drenthe, that will not be necessary.
While many Dutch people are enjoying the chance to go skating on frozen canals and ponds thanks to the freezing temperatures, many others are concerned that the Siberian weather will translate into using more natural gas than normal and thus having to resume extraction operations in the Groningen municipality of Loppersum to meet demand. Activity in the area was stopped only weeks ago in an effort to avoid more induced earthquakes.
In the Monday, 27 February edition of the Leeuwarder Courant, NAM spokesperson Sape Jan Terpstra stated that the production locations in the Loppersum cluster will remain closed. Since their closure, extraction operations have increased at other locations in the Groningen gas field to compensate for the lost productivity. Terpstra says, “The additional quantity being extracted is evenly distributed among all of the clusters.”
In order to meet the increased demand in the coming cold days, gas reserves in the town of Norg near Langelo in Drenthe are being tapped. There is currently roughly 5.9 billion cubic meters of low caloric gas in the reserves. “That gas can be used straight away,” says Terpstra. The reserves have a total capacity to store up to 7 billion cubic meters.
Even if the cold spell lasts longer than currently forecast, Terpstra says that will not be a problem. “There are several months’ worth of gas in the reserves in Norg.”