Register with us today

and in less than 60 seconds continue your access to:Latest news headlinesAnalytical topics and featuresCommodities videos, podcast & blogsSample market prices & dataSpecial reportsSubscriber notes & daily commodity email alerts

Already have an account?

Log in to register

Forgot Password

Please Note: Platts Market Center subscribers can only reset passwords via the Platts Market Center

Enter your Email ID below and we will send you an email with your password.


  • Email Address* Please enter email address.

If you are a premium subscriber, we are unable to send you your password for security reasons. Please contact the Client Services team.

If you are a Platts Market Center subscriber, to reset your password go to the Platts Market Center to reset your password.

In this list
LNG | Natural Gas

Output at Europe's giant Groningen gas field plunges in Dec, dents Dutch stocks

Commodities | Energy | Electric Power | Renewables | Natural Gas

Hydrogen: Beyond the Hype

LNG | Natural Gas | NGL

Platts LNG Alert

Electric Power | Renewables | LNG | Infrastructure Utilities

Caribbean Energy Conference, 21st

LNG | Natural Gas

Russia's Gazprom sees Q2 international gas sales slide 17% to 44.9 Bcm

Output at Europe's giant Groningen gas field plunges in Dec, dents Dutch stocks

Highlights

Dutch gas stocks fall below Gas Year 2018 levels, 73% full

Groningen production quota revised to 11.8 Bcm in GY-19

H-cal to L-cal conversion rises 10% on year to 2.431 Bcm

London — Natural gas output at Europe's largest onshore gas field, the Netherlands' Groningen, continued to fall sharply in December following the Dutch government's tightening of the production quota, with volumes down 43% year on year.

Not registered?

Receive daily email alerts, subscriber notes & personalize your experience.

Register Now

The rapidly declining output at the field has eaten away at Dutch gas stocks, which have now fallen below Gas Year 2018 levels and are well below the European average.

A production cap has been put in place to prevent earthquakes linked to gas extraction at Groningen and the Dutch government plans to phase out gas extraction at the field completely by mid-2022.

Natural gas production at the two remaining active fields totaled 1.06 Bcm in December, down 43% year on year and 3% on the month, data from operator NAM showed.

December's output included volumes of 574 million cu m at the Zuidwest gas field and 481 million cu m at the Oost field. Month on month, production at the Zuidwest field climbed 17%, which was offset by a 20% drop at the Oost field.

Total output remains on track to meet Groningen's ever-decreasing production quota.

The Gas Year 2019 quota was revised down to 11.8 Bcm starting October 1 last year, sharply lower than 19.4 Bcm in 2018 and 21.4 Bcm in 2017.

Production will need to fall below 1 Bcm/month in the summer to hit the current quota, with cumulative gas production in the current gas year of 2019 totalling 2.79 Bcm by the end of December, NAM data showed.

Output at the other two Groningen fields has now ceased, with Loppersum stopping in March 2018 and Eemskanaal ending the following month.

Conversion rises

To compensate for the loss of L-cal gas from Groningen -- which produced close to 54 Bcm in 2013 prior to the introduction of quotas -- the Netherlands has increased conversion of H-cal gas into L-cal gas, achieved by adding nitrogen at blending stations.

Total Dutch H-cal to L-cal conversion in December was 2.431 Bcm, up 10% year on year from 2.201 Bcm, data from the Dutch grid operator Gasunie showed.

The rapid decline in production of L-Cal gas from Groningen will continue to make the Netherlands increasingly dependent on LNG and pipeline gas imports from Norway and Russia.

Weaker stocks at Dutch storage facilities mean they are currently 73% full at 9.384 Bcm, data from Gas Infrastructure Europe showed, compared with with 76% at the same time last year and 80% a month earlier on December 15, 2019.

Despite the healthy level of European natural gas supplies, low Groningen production output has resulted in a quick ramp up in storage withdrawals from Dutch storage facilities, which are sharply lower than the European average of 82% and its neighbour Germany's 94% full stocks, GIE data showed.

Traders have also reported that Gazprom Export is making a dent in their storage volumes in Central and Eastern Europe, which may too have resulted from quicker withdrawal rates.