Dutch should ‘shut down’ gas field, says local Shell boss

Dutch should ‘shut down’ gas field, says local Shell boss

Dutch should ‘shut down’ gas field, says local Shell boss

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The Dutch government should shut down Europe’s largest gas field as early as this year, a top Shell Netherlands official has said, despite global energy uncertainties following Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Gas have been pumped from the massive northern Groningen field since 1963, but residents have been terrorized by increasingly violent earthquakes for more than two decades, directly attributed to mining operations.

“The field must be closed. It can be done and it has to,” Netherlands Shell outgoing president Marjan van Loon said.

“The parties involved believe that the field can be closed this year if you look at the data,” Van Loon told the WNL television talk show.

Although gas extraction from the field has been almost cut to zero over the last few years, the Dutch government have left flames burning due global energy uncertainties prompted largely by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine a year ago.

“Perhaps it’s uncomfortable to really quit something like this during an energy crisis... but it has to be done,” said Van Loon, who steps down as the Dutch-based arm of Shell’s president at the end of the month.

She added that Shell Netherlands would pay for damages and to strengthen infrastructure in the area, but “we need to see how best that can be done and it has to be well organized.”

Shell Netherlands and ExxonMobil have an equal stake in the NAM, the company responsible for drawing gas from Groningen since the early 1960’s.