Germany to drill gas in the North Sea to reduce reliance on Russia
In a concerted move to move away from its heavy reliance on Russia amid the Ukraine crisis, German authorities have finally relented and allowed gas drilling in one of its most contentious territories.
On Wednesday, a German regional authority responsible for the islands of the Wadden Sea gave the green light to a Dutch company drill gas in the north sea above the Wadden Islands.
Dutch company One-Dyas said it planned to start drilling for natural gas about 20 miles north of the islands as soon as possible after the German government was forced to soften its stance on drilling oil and gas in its territories. The gas field, which contains gas with low calorific value usable by households, is located more than 20 kilometers above the Wadden Islands in the North Sea under the Dutch and German seabed.
“We cannot afford to demand more gas from the Netherlands and continue to refuse to extract our own gas,“, announced Tuesday the Minister of Economic Affairs of the Land of Lower Saxony Bernd Althusmann.
Chris de Ruyter van Steveninck, director of One-Dyas, told broadcaster NOS that the company could supply 5% of Dutch gas demand on an annual basis. According to the director, the field and those nearby have a potential to deliver about 60 billion cubic meters of natural gas, which means that they can supply almost half of the 40 billion cubic meters of annual consumption of the Countries. -Bas and Germany’s 90 billion cubic meters.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has triggered widespread self-sanction from its Western energy customers, leading to an energy crisis in the Eurozone and around the world. Germany depends on Russia for around 60% of its natural gas needs.
Gas drilling in the North Sea has met with strong resistance, with the mayors of the two neighboring islands both opposed to the development, mainly due to concerns about the environmental impact. However, research by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs concluded that there would be minimal damage during the construction of the project and also during the active pumping phase.
By Alex Kimani for Oilprice.com
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