Photo: Visualisation platform N05-A and connection to wind farm Riffgat. Source: ONE-Dyas

Dutch player secures permit to develop North Sea gas field with wind-powered platform

Dutch privately-owned exploration and production company ONE-Dyas has been granted a final permit for the development of the N05-A gas field located in the North Sea. The project’s platform will run entirely on wind energy.

As informed by ONE-Dyas on Thursday, the country’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate has granted it the definitive permits for the development of the N05-A gas field in the North Sea. This offshore gas production project fits in the small fields policy of the Dutch government.

With the final permit, the Dutch government gives the go-ahead for the production of natural gas from the N05-A field and surrounding fields in the North Sea. The N05-A platform location is in the North Sea, about 20 kilometres north of the islands of Borkum, Rottumerplaat, and Schiermonnikoog.

N05-A North Sea gas field location; Source: ONE-Dyas
N05-A North Sea gas field location; Source: ONE-Dyas

The N05-A platform will run entirely on wind energy from the nearby Riffgat wind farm, which reduces the carbon footprint of the project. According to ONE-Dyas, it makes an active contribution to the energy transition and to achieving the goals of the Climate Agreement.

Chris de Ruyter van Steveninck, CEO ONE-Dyas, said: “Project N05-A and the energy transition go hand in hand. The transition to 100 per cent renewable energy takes time. Natural gas will still be part of the energy mix in the coming decades. As long as natural gas is still needed to heat our homes, it is our job to make sure it is as clean, affordable and reliable as possible. “

Environmental impact

As emphasised by ONE-Dyas, there has been frequent consultation with stakeholders for the development of N05-A since 2018. These consultations provided input for an extensive environmental impact report, in which the effects on the environment, nature and the surroundings, the implementation variants and choices made are examined and described. As a result of the opinions and advice from the regulatory advisers, a number of adjustments were made to further minimise the environmental impact at the site, ONE-Dyas explained.

On 18 February 2022, the Commission for Environmental Assessment (Commissie m.e.r.) concluded that the environmental effects have been sufficiently assessed and that the usefulness and necessity of the project are sufficiently described. The Committee expressed its appreciation for the electrification of the platform, which will limit emissions into the air as much as possible.

ONE-Dyas aims to deliver the first natural gas to Dutch and German households by the end of 2024. The N05-A project is part of the so-called GEMS area, an area approximately 20 to 100 kilometres north of the Ems estuary. ONE-Dyas is currently actively exploring the potential of other gas fields in this part of the North Sea. Future developments will again go through a permitting procedure.

As previously reported, Germany and ONE-Dyas have been discussing potential natural gas production in the North Sea in an effort to reduce the reliance on Russian fossil fuels.

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This comes as Germany is looking into multiple ways to reduce its reliance on Russian fossil fuels. Therefore, the gas extracted on the German side of this project will be made available to the German market.

With the security of supply in mind, German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, has recently visited several African states, including Senegal, where he discussed future gas deals and the possibility of an MSGBC-Europe gas pipeline. The Chancellor’s Africa visit was seen as a critical step to achieving energy security.

Scholz also recently said that liquefied natural gas (LNG) remains the central bridge to Germany’s climate-neutral future even if the country has to resort to coal in the short term.