Low oil- & gas reserve values make Dutch govt. "poorer": Statistics office

The Dutch government again became poorer last year due to the declining value of oil- and gas reserves, Statistics Netherlands announced on Tuesday. According to their figures, the government's wealth (assets minus liabilities) dropped by 20 million euros last year. In 2014 it dropped by 60 million euros.

A big reason for the decrease is the very low oil prices of the past months. This also reduced the value of oil still in the ground. Another contributing factor is the government's decision to reduce natural gas extraction in earthquake-ridden Groningen. As a result, the same amount of gas is extracted over a longer period of time, thereby reducing the value of natural gas assets.

All in all the Dutch government ended 2015 with 784 billion euros in assets, according to Statistics Netherlands' figures. This was offset by 527 billion euros in liabilities. The assets decreased by 31 billion euros compared to 2014.  Liabilities decreased by 11 billion euros. That means that the government's wealth or net worth amounted to 257 billion euros last year, about the same level as in 2002.