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Oil and Gas Emergency Policy: The Netherlands 2012 update

Oil and natural gas represented respectively 38% and 47% of the Netherlands’s total primary energy supply in 2010. While their share in the energy mix is expected to decline slightly over the next decade, demand for both fuels will rise as total energy demand in the country grows. The Netherlands sees a role for all fuels including nuclear, and is also pursuing a goal of increasing renewable energy from 4% (2010) to 14% by 2020. In terms of fossil fuels, new coal‐fired power plants will come online in the coming years while natural gas will remain the country’s key fuel. Domestic oil production is in decline, and despite the extension of output made possible by new upstream techniques, the Netherlands will gradually move towards becoming fully import-dependant in meeting its oil needs. At the same time, the Netherlands plays a key role as a major oil‐refining centre in Europe, with an extensive supply network of ports, storage facilities and pipeline connections playing a critical role for oil supplies to the continent. Likewise for natural gas, the country plays a regional role for supply security. However, unlike for oil, the Netherlands produces more gas than it consumes domestically. Substantial gas reserves remain and are expected to allow the Netherlands to continue as a net exporter of gas over the coming decade. The emergency oil response system of the Netherlands is based on a mixed system of mandatory emergency reserve stocks held by both the industry and the Dutch stockholding agency, COVA.

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