This has already caused problems this winter. The Russian state-owned company has left the gas depot largely empty, threatening a shortage. It is now suspected that Gazprom deliberately kept low reserves in the Netherlands last year, in light of the approaching war.
“I don’t know the exact reason, but I suspect it has been thought of beforehand,” Energy Secretary Rob Getten said.
according to de Volkskrant Several options are being considered to avoid the same problem next year, one of which is the nationalization of storage. When asked, Cetin does not want to say which options the cabinet is looking at, but he does not rule out nationalization either.
He stresses that it is important that the pantry is well stocked in the coming winter. “We are in discussions to accomplish this.” He calls it “complex legal negotiations.”
The Dutch state cannot simply say what to do with the underground gas tank. The Netherlands has only 40 percent of the storage space. The remaining 60 percent is owned by an Abu Dhabi-based TAQA company. And 40 percent of the storage capacity is leased to Russia’s Gazprom.
It seems that taking this space from Gazprom is not so easy from a legal point of view. It would be much simpler if Holland had complete control of the tank, but then power would have to be purchased. The Abu Dhabi company did not respond to questions today.
Minister Cetin expects a solution to be found “in a few weeks”.