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The Netherlands to Close Europe’s Largest Gasfield by October 2024

Sun 22 Jan 2023 | 10:41 PM
Omnia Ahmed

The Netherlands plans to close Europe’s largest gasfield, noting that it is “very dangerous” to keep operating it, according to a government official statement.

Hans Vijlbrief, state secretary for mining, who is responsible for the earthquake-prone Groningen gasfield, pointed out that he aimed to shut it by October 1 but would wait to see if there was a shortage of gas in Europe after the winter. If necessary, it would remain open until October 2024.

“We won’t open up more because of the safety issues,” he told the Financial Times. “It is politically totally unviable. But apart from that, I’m not going to do it because it means that you increase the chances of earthquakes, which I don’t want to be responsible for.”

“It’s very, very simple: everybody who has some knowledge of earthquake danger tells me that it’s really very dangerous to keep on producing there. I’m quite convinced it’s wise to close it down,” Vijlbrief said.

The state secretary mentioned that the onshore gasfield, in Netherlands’ north-east close to the German border, is on the “backburner”.