Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference brings you a series of columns in which prominent industry representatives share their views on key developments in the offshore oil, gas and energy markets. This edition, Ruud Zoon, Managing Director of GDF SUEZ E&P Nederland and Chairman of NOGEPA shares his thoughts on the importance of Dutch Gas.
“Ever since the discovery of the giant Slochteren gas field in Groningen in 1959, natural gas has played an indispensible role in our Dutch energy supply. For over 50 years natural gas has brought significant wealth to our nation (the “gasbaten”), has created thousands of well paid jobs, and has helped secure our energy supply. Gas production companies, like any other company in the Netherlands, pay corporate income tax. In addition they pay a supplementary state profit share tax, resulting in an effective tax rate of some 50%. Also the Dutch state, via EBN, participates for 40% in all gas field developments. This implies that for every € in profits, 70% or 70 cents goes to the Dutch government (40% via EBN and 50% tax on the remaining 60%). In 2012 the “gasbaten” are forecasted to be in excess of € 12 billion. Our industry employs well over 6,000 people, and indirectly another 10,000 via suppliers and contractors. The importance of gas to Dutch society is often overlooked, taken for granted, but cannot be stressed often enough.”
“It is expected that sustainable energy sources such as biogas, solar energy and wind power will foresee us in the vast majority of our energy needs, but the transition to a fully sustainable energy supply will take a long time. In the meantime natural gas will continue to play a key role. It is flexible and, unlike electricity, can be easily stored and readily produced when needed. It is also the cleanest fossil fuel; a logical, safe and indispensable complement to solar and wind energy. Natural gas is a key ingredient in a sustainable energy mix, for now and for the foreseeable future.”
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Offshore Energy Today, September 20, 2012