Energy conservation in the Dutch natural gas chain

In the Netherlands the natural gas production and distribution chain consumes about 37 PJ of energy a year, some five per cent of total industrial energy consumption. This study inventories the potential for energy saving down the entire chain: from subsurface gas extraction and treatment, drying and blending, through compressor station and distribution grid operation to the end user’s gas meter. A clear precondition for any energy savings is that the companies operating the various links in the chain cooperate on this issue. This was indeed the case in the present exploratory study, which brought together Dutch gas producers, through their trade association NOGEPA (Netherlands Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Association), Gasunie and Essent Energie. The study was facilitated by SenterNovem.

The conservation options pivot around the four factors of greatest influence on energy consumption: the desired gas quality, gas pressure, fluctuations in gas flow and the distance the gas has to be transported. Three promising measures were selected: greater spread in gas quality, local electrical power generation and reducing pressure in the main transport pipeline grid in the summer.