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 20-year contract for natural gas sales to the Netherlands was signed in September 2000. The first deliveries to the Netherlands from Russia started on October 1, 2001 via the Yamal- Europe pipeline system.

In 2016, Gazprom supplied 4.22 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.

Related sections:

Gas Transportation, Storage