The Texan and Dutch Gas

Kicking Off The European Energy Revolution
  • Also available as: Casebound Hardcover
  • Published: February 2007
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 212
  • Size: 7x10
  • ISBN: 9781425103507
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Shell, operator of a Dutch exploration company, NAM, a joint 50/50 company with Esso, discovers the immense Groningen natural gas field in the Netherlands in 1960. Worried that their oil markets will be hurt Esso sends an engineer, Douglass Stewart, to the Netherlands to assess the situation. He confirms reserves are enormous and finds that Shell hopes to sell the gas at low prices to electric power plants, but has committed all natural gas to the Dutch State Gas Company NAM has to obtain a Producing Concession and there are no pipelines to deliver the gas.

Stewart forms a team with two Esso Dutch technicians and an American economist. The team proposes a whole new concept. The gas should be considered a "premium fuel" that could be delivered to households and selected industry if the Dutch city town gas systems are converated to use natural gas direct. Surplus gas could be exported at a high price. This would maximize the gas value, bring clean efficient fuel to the people, improve the environment and bring vastly increased revenue to the Dutch Government. The team proposes that Shell and Esso build the pipelines and market the gas to the cities and industries. The companies have to reach agreement with the Dutch Government and later go through tough negotiations with entrenched coal gas distributors in surrounding countries.

The book gives a behind the scenes look at people who participated in the negotiations with the Dutch Government that led to the formation of Gasunie and the internal ups and downs of relations between Shell and Esso. It reveals corporate maneuvering, intrigue, disappointments and successes, particularly with the regard to the export effort that put Shell and Esso in the gas business in Northern Europe.

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