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Dutch Senate Hits Snooze Button on Closing Groningen Gas Field

Posted by John Donovan: 7 April 2024

In a move that screams “procrastination at its finest,” the Dutch Senate has pushed back the vote on permanently shutting down the Groningen gas field, citing concerns over the country’s energy security. Because who needs timely decisions when you can kick the can down the road, right?

Originally slated for closure on October 1, 2023, and then extended to this October, the Groningen gas field was supposed to bid farewell to its gas-pumping days. But alas, the specter of earthquakes and energy insecurity looms large, prompting the government to consider keeping the field operational just in case winter throws a chilly tantrum.

And wouldn’t you know it, come January 2024, the Netherlands found itself reaching for the thermostat, flicking on two gas sites at Groningen to meet the sudden surge in demand for warmth and electricity. Ah, the irony of needing the very thing you’re trying to bid adieu to!

Now, as the government scrambles to stick to its October 1, 2024, deadline for the final curtain call on Groningen, the Senate has decided to hit the snooze button on a proposed law to seal the deal. Because why rush a decision when you can let it marinate for another year and a half, right?

Hans Vijlbrief, the mining state secretary, expressed his frustration at the delay, emphasizing that the chances of back-to-back Siberian winters wreaking havoc on energy supplies are about as likely as finding a unicorn in your backyard. But hey, stranger things have happened!

With the fate of Groningen hanging in the balance, Vijlbrief hopes for a swift resolution, trusting that the Senate will snap out of its daze and make a decision before the next ice age hits. After all, who needs heat when you have bureaucracy to keep you warm at night?

 NAM, Jointly owned by Shell and ExxonMobil, is the operator of the Groningen gas field.

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