The Netherlands has introduced new requirements for gas appliances, including a new K category for gases that have a low Wobbe index (which measures the interchangeability of fuel gases). Import restrictions apply from this month and additional testing may be required to demonstrate that appliances can cope with higher calorific gas..
The Netherlands is the largest producer of natural gas in the EU with a quarter of the total European reserves. For several decades now they have also been extracting from offshore fields in the North Sea. The offshore gas has a higher calorific value than that from the main field so the gas transmission network in the Netherlands transports the two different qualities of gas separately. They also import high calorific gas. The pipelines are connected at blending and conversion stations where the high-calorific gas can either be blended with low-calorific gas or ballasted with nitrogen to produce gas that can be introduced into the Dutch network.
However gas production from the Groningen field has been significantly reduced recently because of concerns about the number and scale of earth tremors in the region. The Dutch government is assuming that more gas will be imported by pipelines from Norway and Russia and as LBG from elsewhere, and that the Netherlands will become a net importer from 2025 onwards.