Gas consumption in the Netherlands down by a fourth this year
In the first six months of 2022, the Netherlands consumed 17.6 billion cubic meters of natural gas. That is 25 percent less than in the first half of 2021, Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reported. The stats office attributes the decrease to the mild spring and high gas prices.
In the first half of 2022, gas consumption in the energy-intensive industry decreased by over 30 percent compared to the same period last year. The decrease was particularly visible in the petroleum (-59 percent) and chemical (-32 percent) industries. Power stations used 28 percent less gas, greenhouse horticulture used 23 percent less, and households consumed about 16 percent less.
Compared to last year, the Netherlands imported 3 percent more natural gas in the first half of the year and exported 20 percent less.
Imports of gaseous natural gas decreased by 10 percent. The imports significantly differed in origin compared to last year. The Netherlands imported twice as much gas from Belgium and five times more from the United Kingdom. At the same time, gas imports from Norway fell by 26 percent and through Germany by a massive 70 percent.
“It is plausible that this flow from Germany largely concerts gas from Russia, but it is difficult to determine the origin of the gas in these flows,” CBS said.
While the import of gaseous natural gas decreased, the amount of liquified natural gas (LNG) imported increased by 57 percent. The vast majority of this LNG came from the United States and Russia.
The Netherlands exported 20 percent less natural gas. Exports to the gas storage areas in Germany were almost three times higher, and other exports to Germany remained the same. But exports to Belgium were halved. And exports to the UK stopped almost completely - 2.2 billion cubic meters in the first half of 2021 and only 0.1 cubic meters in the first half of 2022.
Natural gas extraction was 18 percent lower in the first half of this year. Onshore gas extraction decreased by 31 percent, and extraction at sea dropped by 11 percent.
At the end of the first half of 2022, the total gas stock was 7.8 billion cubic meters, or 70 percent higher than halfway through 2021. Due to uncertainties about the gas supply from Russia, the government stocked up for the winter. The higher import is also related to this.