Yesterday NU.nl reported that according to Prime Minister Mark Rutte, gas extraction in the Groningen field will stop completely this autumn. There is still minimal gas extraction, allowing the wells to remain open. However, the closure is subject to several conditions, including sufficient foreign gas, which can be converted to the type suitable for our heating systems and cooktops.
A nitrogen plant at Zuidbroek in Groningen, essential for gas conversion, should have been operational as early as 1 April. Still, due to construction delays, it will now be commissioned on 1 October. State Secretary Hans Vijlbrief indicated that the Groningen field's reserve function could be accommodated, allowing sufficient gas to flow even in emergencies.
During the debate in the Lower House, it also emerged that the cabinet will decide on the closure of the Groningen field later this month, still waiting for advice from the Mining Council. If the field closes this year, gas production will stop and only in autumn 2024 will all installations start to be demolished.
According to the AD, the debate also revealed that Prime Minister Rutte came under fire from opposition parties accusing him of lacking credibility in addressing the ongoing problems in Groningen. Despite a no-confidence motion against the prime minister, supported by several opposition parties, it was not supported by a majority. Rutte declared his determination to solve the problems in Groningen and sees the debate as an incentive to show improvements.