11 December 2003
AMSTERDAM — Dutch petroleum company NAM has discovered a major new gas field in the North Sea.
The gas field, which was found during exploratory drilling earlier this year, is located about 65km north-west of the marine city of Den Helder. A NAM spokesman said the discovery was one of the largest in recent years.
The amount of gas found is sufficient to supply Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht for two and a half years. The field contains 5 billion cubic metres of gas.
NAM, based in the north-eastern city of Assen, said it discovered the new field at a depth of 4,000m during exploratory drilling in August. The gas field is one of the deepest in the Netherlands, most of which are located at a depth of 3.5km.
The gas field is expected to become operational before the end of this year and will use an existing pipeline. A gas field of 2 billion cubic metres was located in December 2002 several kilometers away from the latest discovery.
“It looks like this find is a valuable addition to the national natural gas reserves. NAM remains active in searching for new gas finds, both on land and off shore,” director Roelof Platenkamp said.
He attributed the discovery to “world class” seismic technology that helped create new possibilities in an already well developed mining region.
Meanwhile, NAM gas mining operations have been blamed for a recent series of earthquakes in the north of the Netherlands. The tremors have caused minor damages to houses and no injuries have been reported, but residents have expressed concerns.
But weather, climate and seismology bureau KNMI dismissed concerns and said induced earthquakes in gas mining regions were customary. It was not concerned about the strength, nor the frequency of the quakes, most of which go unnoticed.
[Copyright Expatica News 2003]
Subject: Dutch news