Jouke Brouwer, Fircroft’s Regional Manager for Western Europe, has been working in the oil and gas industry for the last 13 years and was asked to set up the Fircroft office in the Netherlands due to his level of experience. He’s just celebrated his four year anniversary with the company; here, Jouke tells us about the oil and gas industry in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands has a significantly mature oil and gas market with mostly downstream opportunities available. The Groningen gas field, situated in the north, was discovered in 1959 and is the largest natural gas field in Europe, providing a number of opportunities for the country. This gas field is part of the Southern Permian Basin, which extends from Poland to the east coast of England. It is the ninth largest in the world and has been a significant support for the Dutch economy and a reliable source of gas for Northern Europe. It currently accounts for approximately a third of natural gas produced in the EU and is expected to last for another 50 years. However, smaller gas fields also have an important role to play – both on and offshore they now account for around 40% of the total Dutch gas production.
Fircroft in the Netherlands
Fircroft has been based in the Netherlands for the last four years due to our close relationship with a client who suggested it would be beneficial for the company to be based in Holland, as most international oil and gas companies are active here, both on and offshore. This decision quickly proved successful as the office was profitable just eight months after it opened.
Fircroft in the Netherlands has grown from just one person to eight people in the office, and we now have more than 140 people on our books. In the office we mainly speak in Dutch, however our recruitment team is multilingual and includes English and German speakers. The majority of our contractors are international but we have many permanent roles available for Dutch nationals.
The Future of the Market
The real future for the Netherlands lies in establishing itself as an LNG hub. Rotterdam, the largest harbour in Europe, is planning to become a hub for oil coming from Russian and Azerbaijani pipes. The plan is to establish a gas ‘roundabout’ – a midstream distributer with a significant number of refineries and gas storage. Last year, the port received two large EU subsidies to support the development of the hub. It included a subsidy of €40 million for an LNG infrastructure and €35 million for LNG break-bulk terminals. These projects will create the first logistics chain for LNG in Europe and reflect the key position that the Netherlands will hold in the European and global oil and gas industry.
To learn more about the roles we currently have available in the Netherlands take a look here