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A new direction for the Dutch oil and gas sector

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The Hague, 16 May - Element NL, the successor to the industry organisation NOGEPA, was launched today. Element NL brings together the twelve companies that are licensed to produce oil and gas in the Netherlands. Element NL today presented its ambitious Action Agenda setting out the plans for the future of the sector. A future focusing mainly on the energy transition.

‘We have recently made great strides on a plan to shape the role of Dutch natural gas throughout the energy transition,’ says Menno Snel, Chairman of Element NL. ‘Because we all know that our future will be carbon neutral. Fossil fuels will disappear, and new forms of energy will replace them. We must all put our weight behind the energy transition. As far as Element NL is concerned, we will focus on the decarbonisation of our emissions, CO2 storage, and the ongoing development of hydrogen projects’.

One of the key points in the Action Agenda is to halve CO2 emissions throughout the entire chain by 2030 compared to 2019. ‘We previously established a successful methane reduction programme which succeeded in cutting methane emissions by 50%,’ says Snel. ‘We now aim to repeat this success with our CO2 reduction programme’.

There are plenty of electrification projects too: all new installations will be electric, and the main infrastructure has a target of 80% electrification. An important component of decarbonisation is the study into a form of producer commitment, such as the Carbon Takeback Obligation, in which a producer or importer of fossil fuels guarantees that either some or all of the CO2 released during its use will not be released to the atmosphere, but will be captured or stored.

Menno Snel: ‘This involves targets relating to CO2 capture and storage, or CCS. We are taking the initiative to develop a CCS platform which will involve close collaboration with other actors in the industry.’

CO2 storage also plays an important role in the production of hydrogen, a fourth component of Element NL's Action Agenda. This will make it possible to store the CO2 released during the production of blue hydrogen in the North Sea directly in the gas field. ‘It's a win-win situation,’ says Menno Snel, 'Because this is the smart way to reuse your existing infrastructure ’. What's more, hydrogen can be transported as is through the existing infrastructure, which helps to unburden the electricity grid.

Finally, Element NL wishes to focus more on the people who work on the energy transition process. ‘We need all hands on deck, doers as well as thinkers. We are therefore looking for people with vocational and academic qualifications to work in our sector. It's important to mention here that we set great store by diversity and inclusion.’

Menno Snel: ‘Yet again, current events instruct us that we need to reduce our dependence on foreign countries when it comes to our energy supply. For the time being, Dutch natural gas is still needed to heat Dutch households and keep our industry running. But we also need to focus on the future and a new energy system. The companies united in Element NL will play a key role in this’.


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