Current use and developments

The Government’s Climate Agenda describes the policy for combatting climate change. The Climate Agenda is aiming for a CO2 reduction of 80-95% in 2050. This can be achieved by capturing CO2 at the source and transporting it to storage locations located deep underground, also called Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

The Dutch CO2 storage capacity in (former) gas fields is an estimated 2,700 to 3,200 Megatons (Mt) (excluding the Groningen gas field). Around 1,500 to 2,000 Mt of this amount are underground and around 1,200 Mt under the sea. The storage capacity of the Groningen gas field is an estimated 9,000 Mt, but this will probably only become available after 2050. Moreover, it is still not definite which part of this capacity will be available for CO2 storage. The potential for aquifers is far less clear-cut and is currently an estimated 700 to 1,500 Mt both onshore and offshore. Further research may lead to a different estimate of this potential.

To facilitate CO2 capture and storage, a partially new infrastructure of pipelines will be necessary. Existing oil and gas pipelines can only be used after the relevant fields are fully depleted. At present, the Mining Act makes the closure of depleted fields (the clearing away of unused platforms) mandatory. In a CCS vision currently under development, the Government is reviewing whether policy changes are desirable in this area.

For the period 2009-2015, the aim was to realise large-scale demonstration projects for CO2 capture, transport and storage on Dutch territory, both onshore and offshore. The ROAD pilot project (Rotterdam Storage and Capture Demonstration) was launched in 2009. The preparatory studies have been completed and the storage permit was issued in July 2013. However, the project was delayed because the business case is no longer conclusive due to the low CO2 price in the European Emission Trading Scheme (ETS).