Environment minister urges end to gas extraction project off German North Sea island
Neuen Osnabrücker Zeitung
The German environment minister has urged to stop gas extraction plans near the north-western island of Borkum, newspaper Neuen Osnabrücker Zeitung reports. Dutch company One-Dyas plans to extract gas from a field between the island of Schiermonnikoog in the Netherlands and the German island of Borkum from the end of 2024. “The best thing would be to stop the gas extraction project,” minister Steffi Lemke (Green Party) said ahead of a conference on the protection of the Wadden Sea, where the gas extraction project would take place. “It is not acceptable that the valuable ecosystem of the Wadden Sea is damaged and its Unesco status is put at risk in order to extract natural gas for a few years,” she said. But she added that if the project had to go ahead because of the challenges of the energy crisis, the protection of the Wadden Sea should be made a priority.
The war against Ukraine and the ensuing energy supply crisis has forced Germany to revisit its energy transition strategies, as the country heavily relied on Russian gas imports. The planned contract with Dutch drilling company One-Dyas would include an offshore platform in Dutch waters, some 500 metres behind the German sea border and about 20 kilometres off the island of Borkum. The gas field N05-A off Borkum is partly located in German waters and contains an estimated 60 billion cubic metres of the fossil fuel.