Energy demands will continue to grow over the coming decades. Renewables cannot meet this growing demand alone as they will only provide around half of the total energy requirement by 2050. Oil & gas production will continue to be necessary during the transition period and Dutch players have the opportunity to offer the most sustainable solutions worldwide. The North Sea accommodates Europe’s largest oil and natural gas reserves, the majority owned by Norway and the UK. Other owners of North Sea oil & gas are the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany.


The Netherlands has around 160 oil & gas platforms on the North Sea with 13 companies licensed to track or extract oil and natural gas. These companies research possible reserves in the soil and under the North Sea, and extract the oil and/or natural gas after drilling.

As well as generating a major increase in oil and gas prices, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has also enhanced our need to become energy-independent. This has in turn resulted in a growth in investments in this market and the start-up of new drilling projects. In addition, existing platforms will be kept operational longer where possible.


Due to the transition to sustainable energy and the approaching end of the economic lifespan of oil & gas platforms, substantial investments will be required in wind at sea, the modification and electrification of existing platforms and the disassembly of outdated ones.

  • Increasing the sustainability of existing platforms. Methane emissions from production platforms are high. The sector has made agreements to reduce this figure by 50% and is also looking at using electricity from wind at sea to electrify platforms.
  • Reusing platforms and infrastructure. Old platforms wells can be reused for the underground storage of captured CO2, or platforms and pipelines could produce and transport hydrogen produced at sea. A prime example is PosHYdon, a pilot project on the Q13a field and a partnership between Neptune EnergyNexstep and TNO.
  • (Re)considering disassembly. Production locations can reach the end of their economic and/or technical lifespan. Current developments certainly make it worthwhile expanding their lifespan or maintaining the infrastructure to avoid costs in the future. This is an option for gas extraction, but also for alternative uses. Some 60% of the current installations are expected to be dismantled in the next years.