Government of Netherlands has banned drilling for shale gas in the country for the next five years over concerns about their environmental impact.

The Dutch authorities will also not renew the existing licenses for shale gas explorations.

Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp said: “No answer can be expected to the question of whether it would make sense to further examine the prospect of extracting shale gas until the end of this year.

“At that point, I will present a vision of energy policy after 2020, based partly on recent insights relating to sustainable energy, the better utilisation of geothermal energy, and gas extraction in the province of Groningen.”

The decision to shut down commercial exploration or extraction of shale gas has been taken as the cabinet will determine its availability and decide whether it can be included in the country’s energy mix.

The cabinet had initiated multiple studies from 2013 to evaluate social effects, environmental consequences, and possible costs and returns of shale gas extraction in the country.

The ministry said in a statement: “The studies have demonstrated that there is also great uncertainty regarding the effects of drilling for shale gas deep below the surface of the ground.

“For this reason, the political consideration of the advantages and disadvantages of shale gas as part of the future energy mix cannot yet take place.”

However, the government can conduct underground explorations to test presence and availability of shale gas within the period.

The government is yet to undertake study to assess how much shale gas is present and whether it would be profitable to extract.


Source: Hydrocarbons Technology