The Dutch government has confirmed plans to cease gas production from the Groningen field, located near Slochteren, Groningen Province, in 2022, NS Energy reports.
Confirming its preliminary plans, the government stated that the last year of regular production at Groningen is about to begin.
The field is expected to be only used as a reserve resource following the completion of the 2021/2022 gas year.
In 2019, the Dutch state announced that the production would end at the field by mid-2022 to reduce seismic risks in the region.
The Groningen gas field was discovered in 1959 and started producing in 1963. It is operated by Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM), the joint venture between Shell and Exxon Mobil.
Production at the field will be reduced by over 50% to 3.9 billion cubic metres (bcm) in the year through October 2022.
The Netherlands Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy Stef Blok: “This is a historic moment: the last year that we still extract ‘normal’ gas from Groningen. Stopping gas extraction ensures that the main cause of the earthquakes disappears.
“And that is the only way we can ensure that the people of Groningen can live just as safely as people in the rest of the country.”
According to the ministry, a limited number of extraction sites are planned to be kept on standby to enable gas production in the event of an extremely cold winter or major supply problems.
Nearly 1.5bcm of gas is expected to be produced on a yearly basis in order to keep these operational, until the conversion of a main gas storage site to use imported low-calorific gas, Reuters reported.
The government has previously anticipated the conversion of the site to take place between 2025 and 2028.
Covering an area of 180,000 acres, the field was estimated to contain initial recoverable gas reserves of 2,900bcm.
The Groningen gas field reservoir is located at depths of between 2,600 and 3,200m.