Societal impacts of alternatives for gas production from the Groningen gas field

This study examines the societal gains and losses of alternatives aimed at downscaling gas production from the Groningen gas field, in particular climate impact, environmental impacts, security of supply and consequences for government finance.

The alternatives investigated are designed to reduce output from the Groningen gas field by 10 billion m3 per annum. This reduction is used as a reference for drawing up alternatives and for quantifying impacts. To guarantee the safety of future gas extraction, a larger cut-back may in fact be necessary.

The following alternatives were considered:

  • increased import of Russian gas
  • increased import of LNG from Qatar
  • increased gas recovery from North Sea fields • measures to reduce gas consumption.

We conclude that measures to reduce gas consumption are the only option with exclusively positive environmental impacts. While the other options reduce the risk of earth tremors in Groningen, their climate impact Is greater because of higher CO2 emissions.