The value of Dutch goods exports totalled 433 bn euros last year, with natural gas exports accounting for nearly two percent. In 2013 the share of natural gas in Dutch exports was considerably higher (4.0 percent of the total value of exports). The demand for natural gas fell by 15 percent in 2016 relative to 2013, when winter temperatures were much lower.
Natural gas extraction was reduced substantially after introduction of a production ceiling in the province of Groningen early 2014. In 2013 the total volume of natural gas extracted in Groningen amounted to 54 bn cubic metres. The Dutch government recently decided to scale down annual production in Groningen to 24 bn cubic metres. This resulted in a total natural gas production of over 47 bn cubic metres in 2016, i.e. 42 percent down from 2013.
Trade surplus rapidly reduced
In order to meet foreign demands, natural gas imports increased by 55 percent during the past three years, bringing the natural gas trade surplus down from 9.8 bn euros in 2013 to 2.7 bn euros in 2016.