In recent years, gas production in the Netherlands has peaked and appears to have gone into a slow but continuous decline. In an attempt to arrest this decline the Dutch government is investigating possibilities to tap into a previously unattractive class of reservoirs: the stranded fields.

Since the fifties, some 440 gas fields and 45 oilfields have been discovered in the on- and off-shore sectors of the Netherlands. Total gas reserves amount to over 4500 BCM of which some 71% has been produced. Oil reserves amount to 1.15 billion barrels of which 75% has been produced. From the 485 proven fields around 120 accumulations have not been developed and are considered stranded fields. Total volumes in these "contingent resources" amount to over 200 BCM GIIP and over 60 million m3 STOIIP. Tight reservoirs, distant infrastructure, small volumes, and anomalous gas qualities are amongst the main reasons why these resources have not yet been developed.

In this paper, a screening methodology will be presented showing which of these fields might still qualify for development given recent technological and economic changes. By applying a hybrid methodology of GIS tools, data-mining applications and a quick screening economic evaluation the most attractive candidates for development are highlighted. In addition, the impact of new/improved technology, CAPEX changes or tax changes on the development economics are being modeled.

In order to renew interest in these stranded fields it is the intention of the Dutch Government to share results both on the data used for the analysis and any notional development options resulting from this exercise.

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