Gas and oil deposits were first discovered in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 20th century, with their commercial development beginning after the World War II.
N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie (Gasunie) trading company was established on April 6, 1963 for the purpose of creating an effective national gas supply system. It was authorized to purchase gas from producers, transport it, and sell it both domestically and abroad. Gasunie signed its first export contract with Belgium’s Distrigas in 1965.
Despite its relatively small size and population, the Netherlands is currently Europe’s fifth-largest consumer of natural gas, due to the high level of gasification in the domestic, industrial, and power generation sectors. The overall share of gas in the national energy balance stands at around 48% (the EU average is 24%). The total length of gas transmission networks stands at 11,000 kilometers.
The foundations of Gazprom’s business cooperation with Gasunie were laid in the framework agreement of 1996; besides Russian natural gas supply to the Netherlands, this also covered various forms of partnership in transmission, storage, enhancing gas supply flexibility, etc. A
In 2015, Gazprom supplied 2.38 bcm of gas to the Netherlands.
The Dutch government restructured Gasunie in accordance with EU directives. The legal unbundling of the company’s transmission and marketing units was completed in July 2005. The state now owns 100% of the restructured transmission company N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie. Shares in the marketing unit, known as GasTerra from September 1, 2006, are still held by the old Gasunie shareholders, with the distribution of shareholder capital also remaining the same (Energie Beheer Nederland B.V. 40%, Exxon Mobil 25%, Shell 25%, and the state 10%). According to the new structure, GasTerra is now Gazprom Export’s counterparty under the contract for natural gas supplies to the Netherlands.
N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie is Gazprom’s partner in the Nord Stream project. The Dutch company owns 9% of Nord Stream AG, the pipeline’s operator.
In 2014, the Bergermeer underground storage facility (UGS) was put into operation. The facility is located in a strategic area and has a considerable working gas volume, of which Gazprom will get 1.9 billion cubic meters. The Bergermeer UGS facility will maintain safe operation of the Nord Stream gas pipeline and reliability of gas supplies.
On July 2, 2015, Gazprom and Gasunie signed a Framework Agreement on cooperation in the area of small scale LNG. The first joint pilot project for constructing a small LNG receiving terminal in Northwest Europe will base in Rostock, Germany. The terminal will be used for storing, shipping and selling LNG as a bunker and vehicle fuel as well as an energy source for autonomous gasification. In addition, the possibility of building LNG filling stations is also being contemplated within the project.