The Netherlands and Germany will jointly develop and exploit a new gas field in the North Sea to help secure gas supply as Europe tries to wean itself off Russian fossil fuels, the Dutch government said on Wednesday.
Production at the field some 19 km (12 miles) off the north coast of both countries is expected to start by the end of 2024, the government said.
Germany’s Lower Saxony region last year had decided not to grant permits to the project, but reversed its decision due to the war in Ukraine, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs said.
The announcement came a day after Russian energy giant Gazprom cut off all its gas supplies to Dutch gas trader GasTerra after it had refused to agree to Moscow’s demands for payment in roubles.
The Netherlands for decades was a major supplier of natural gas, but it has become a net importer in recent years, after drastically reducing production at its massive Groningen field in the north of the country.
Production in Groningen is set to end by 2024 at the latest to limit seismic risks in the region and the government has in recent months repeatedly said an increase would only be considered as an option of last resort to secure household supply.