The Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Henk Kamp, said that no drilling for shale gas will take place in the Netherlands over the next five years.
According to the minister’s statement issued on Friday, the government will look into the desirability of keeping shale gas as broad option for the Netherlands in the future.
Since 2013, the cabinet has commissioned various studies on the social effects, the environmental consequences, and the possible costs and returns of shale gas extraction in the Netherlands. As no test bores have taken place so far, it is not yet clear how much shale gas is present, and whether the extraction of shale gas could be profitable.
The studies have demonstrated that there is also great uncertainty regarding the effects of drilling for shale gas deep below the surface of the ground.
For this reason, the political consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of shale gas as part of the future energy mix cannot yet take place. In practice, this means that no commercial exploration activities or commercial extraction of shale gas will take place within the next five years.
Possible exploratory bores to ascertain the presence of shale gas in the ground beneath the Netherlands may take place on the instructions of the Dutch government, but not at the request of companies. Any such exploratory bores will also address the possibilities offered by geothermal energy.
Kamp added that, at the end of the year, he will present a vision of energy policy after 2020, based partly on recent insights relating to sustainable energy, the better utilisation of geothermal energy, and gas extraction in the province of Groningen. He said that by then, no answer can be expected to the question of whether it would make sense to further examine the prospect of extracting shale gas.
LNG World News Staff; Image: Ministry of Economic Affairs