Groningen gas wells remain on pilot light, target remains closed afterwards

The eleven Groningen gas wells that are still open remain on the so-called pilot light. This means that a minimum amount of gas will be extracted: 2.8 billion cubic meters in the coming gas year, starting in October.

This is necessary to keep the systems running and to use them in case of extreme need, writes Secretary of State for Mines to the House of Representatives. The aim is not to do that, and the intention remains to close the fields next year or at the latest the following year, says Vijlbrief.

The cabinet previously announced that it has no plans to win from the Groningen fields again due to the gas crisis. Every year, before October 1 – the beginning of the new gas year – gas extraction company NAM receives the final gas decision from the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

Vijlbrief announces that it will keep the field open at least in the coming year by putting eleven wells on ‘the pilot flash’. This means that something is still possible in case of extreme need, but according to Vijlbrief, the cabinet does not intend to do so. He points out that he is not in control of the environment and developments in the world, but only sees it as a reserve option in the event of huge shortages.

‘Too dangerous’

He also insists that it is too dangerous to gain more in the Groningen gas fields again. We‘re not going to do that, is his message to critics who say that the gas fields should reopen due to the high prices. To anyone who believes that people from Groningen can be drilled again with good compensation, Vijlbrief says that it is not a matter of money.

Vijlbrief says that he regularly goes to Groningen to hear from the victims what problems they face with the claims handling and the slow reinforcement operation. At least 13,000 buildings need to be reinforced so that they do not collapse immediately in the event of heavier quakes. Despite the already reduced production, this still needs to be taken into account.

The stories of the people of Groningen strengthen him in the conviction that gas extraction must end as soon as possible. After all the earthquakes and everything you hear in the survey, it’s extremely important that we keep our word, says Vijlbrief in an explanatory conversation to DecceIT.