This week, State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Hans Vijlbrief, sent a letter to the House of Representatives setting out his plan for oil and gas production in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. Element NL is pleased that the government has made a clear choice for Dutch natural gas as a transitional fuel. Every cubic metre of gas that you don't have to import has immediate benefits: less dependence on foreign countries and lower emissions of greenhouse gases, such as CO2 and methane. According to the State Secretary, Dutch natural gas has a much smaller carbon footprint than imported gas (natural gas and LNG), making it a realistic and sensible choice.
The clarity that the State Secretary has now brought – and which we hope will be reflected in his acceleration plan – will make it more attractive for investors to invest, and continue to invest, in the Netherlands. And that's good news, because we can produce 6 billion cubic metres of extra gas from the small fields in the space of the next two years alone, and 80 billion cubic metres in the medium term. A total of at least 200 billion cubic metres of gas can still be produced from Dutch reserves. These additional volumes will directly reduce our dependence on foreign countries and can be produced using the latest, best available technologies. In addition, the Dutch natural gas sector has committed to halving its CO2 emissions compared to 2019. The investments will therefore also be used for everything that the natural gas sector does in the field of the energy transition: decarbonisation, CO2 storage and hydrogen production.
However, we must now work together to make this additional production possible. This will require not just the granting of licences, but also ensuring there is sufficient support for the plans. This is a task for the industry and the State. We are keen to turn these words into deeds, and Element NL is happy to engage with the State Secretary and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy on further acceleration and a North Sea transition deal.