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Tue 9 Aug 2011 06:06 PM

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Abu Dhabi's TAQA confirms delay to Dutch gas project

Energy firm says Europe's largest gas storage project will not be completed in 2014 as planned

Abu Dhabi's TAQA confirms delay to Dutch gas project
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) confirmed on Tuesday that Europe's largest gas storage project at Bergermeer in the Netherlands will not be completed in 2014 as planned.

The top court in the Netherlands on Monday ordered the suspension of construction work at the project, saying environmentalists and local residents were worried the process of injecting gas would cause tremors in the area.

"It is still too early to say but, based on the current information, we will not have full operations in 2014," Allan Virtanen, TAQA's spokesman in the Netherlands, said.

Bergermeer will store up to 4.1 billion cubic metres of gas once it is completed, nearly doubling the Netherlands' gas storage capacity.

The spokesman said TAQA will have to suspend preparatory work for the drilling of 14 wells which are required to make the storage facility fully operational.

But he said work would continue to inject so-called cushion gas, which is necessary to maintain a certain level of pressure in the facility which will not be used for commercial purposes.

"Cushion gas injection was not part of the injunction proceedings and will continue as per plan. Expectation is that all cushion gas will be injected as per plan before April 1, 2014."

TAQA has already injected around half of the gas the site can hold.

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