GRONINGEN, 9 March 2018 - The gas trading company GasTerra published its 2017 results today. The quantity of gas supplied fell, as it had done in 2016; turnover was slightly down. The volume in 2017 was 56.6 billion cubic metres (2016: 63.9); turnover stood at 9.6 billion euros (2016: 9.9). The main reason for the volume reduction is the restriction on production from the Groningen field. Turnover remained reasonably stable because prices were on average higher than in 2016.
In addition to the business results, the future role of (natural) gas and therefore of GasTerra are a central part of the report. CEO Annie Krist comments on this in her foreword: GasTerra’s mission, to maximise the value of Dutch natural gas, has not changed. But the way we achieve it has. More than ever, we have to think about what exactly the term ‘value’ means, our role in the gas chain and our contribution to the energy transition.
The energy supply must be made more sustainable as quickly as possible in order to counter climate change. This means that demand for natural gas eventually will fall significantly. At the same time, the share of renewable gas - for the time being still primarily green gas - must increase. Gas can remain a vital and cost-efficient part of a climate-neutral energy supply. GasTerra contributes to this by buying and selling certified renewable gas and by funding research and innovation in the field of the energy transition.
Developments relating to gas extraction in the province of Groningen have accelerated in the Netherlands since the earthquake in the village of Zeerijp on 8 January. The Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate has stated that he will follow the recommendation of the national mining authority to cut extraction to no more than 12 billion cubic metres a year as quickly as possible on safety grounds. He has asked the companies concerned, including GasTerra, to help in meeting this ambitious target. The gas transporter, Gasunie Transport Services, has calculated that the volume needed lies between 14 and 27 billion cubic metres a year. The exact figure depends mainly on temperatures which are impossible to predict. Every day GasTerra determines how much gas it needs to take off to be able to provide its customers with enough gas. GasTerra and the producer of Groningen gas, NAM, work closely together to even out volumes from the Groningen field over the year, as required by a recommendation from the mining authority..
GasTerra’s mission remains unchanged: to add as much value as possible to Dutch natural gas, in the framework of the decisions taken by the Dutch Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate. Of the total volume purchased and subsequently supplied (56.6 billion cubic metres), 22.6 billion cubic metres came from the Groningen system, 17.3 billion cubic metres from the small fields, 9.3 billion cubic metres from imports and 7.4 billion cubic metres from purchases made on gas trading hubs.
The recent developments have also affected GasTerra’s organisation. The number of jobs in GasTerra has fallen significantly since 2015. The company is now considering how the knowledge and skills of its employees can best be aligned to future requirements.