Dutch companies offer technology while eyeing Yamal participation

Widening energy cooperation is a priority for both the Netherlands and Russia. Dutch companies are already involved in Russia’s Yamal Gas Project, where they are looking at building LNG plants and using reclaimed land.

The Netherlands – one of the largest gas producers in Europe – is looking to Russia for opportunities to apply its hi-tech know-how, at a time when Europe's main gas fields in the Northern Sea are running out.

A number of Dutch infrastructure and gas firms are working together as Delta Group. It's looking for development opportunities in the largest new gas fields in Russia's northern Yamal peninsula region.

One proposal under discussion is using reclaimed land off the Yamal coast, according to Gertjan Lankhorst, CEO of GasTerra.

“Just the kind of things that we want to talk about – what models can you envisage? You have a difficult area, with land and sea. You can use the water to build infrastructures that can cope with the difficult challenges of the permafrost that we have there.”

Foreign participation in the development of the large scale projects like the Yamal gas fields is still under discussion.

But Dutch company Gasunie is already a 9% stakeholder in the Nord stream pipeline project, which will transfer Russian gas to northern Europe via the Baltic. That should diversify the export routes for Russian gas to European consumers. But Annie Krist, Director of Strategy and Participation, at Gasunie says there is room for more.

“Nord stream is absolutely necessary for north western europe to provide us with lots of gas. Probably not enough gas. Nord stream will not fulfill all the additional gas demand in Europe, so we always say Nord Stream is not a competitor of South Stream or Nabucco.”

That's a common basis for cooperation between the two nations on energy. Russia EU energy dialogue has a common aim – security of supplies and energy efficiency. The Yamal project which is attracting many foreign companies is likely to see the usual cooperation formula – foreign participation in upstream in exchange for downstream assets in Europe.