The Dutch gas and petroleum company (Nederlandse Aardoliemaatschappij) has announced discovery of a new lage natural gas field, called the Metslawier-south field, in Friesland in the north of Holland.
It is estimated that the field has over four billion cubic metres of natural gas in the reservoir, and is said to be the largest gas discovery in the country since 1995, Dutch media today quoted the company's announcement.
The actual start of gas production is scheduled for summer 2012. Four million cubic meters of gas is equivalent to the annual use of 2.5 million Dutch households.
"This gas discovery exceeded our expectations. This is a fantastic result and that gives us energy to continue on this path," commented the director of the company, Bart van de Leemput.
The Metslawier-south gas field belongs to one of the hundreds of smaller gas fields in the Netherlands. About 40% of all gas production from the Netherlands come from these relatively small gas fields on land and at sea. The remaining gas production comes from the large Groningen gas field . It was discovered in 1959, and in 2009 had reserves estimated at 2,700 billion cubic metres.
The Nederlandse Aardoliemaatschappij was formed in 1947 to explore for gas and oil in the Netherlands. The company is owned 50/50 by Shell and ExxonMobil and produces 75% of all gas extracted on Dutch territory and around half the oil.