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Transport and storage

Legal framework

What is the general legal framework governing the transportation and storage of oil and gas resources in your jurisdiction?

Access to upstream production pipelines that are used for the transportation of gas or oil to a processing plant, storage facility or landing facility is not regulated (ie, negotiated access applies). Pursuant to the Gas Act, only general competition (antitrust) law applies to access to gas production pipelines. With respect to oil, no reference is made to competition law.

A licence from the minister of economic affairs is required to lay production pipelines; the application requirements are stipulated in the Mining Act, the Mining Decree and the Mining Regulation.

Works executed for the storage, exploration and production of minerals are deemed public works and fall within the scope of the Public Works Act, which provides for the removal of impediments in private law and gives the court the power to impose compulsory land access. Pursuant to the Gas Act, the same applies to gas transmission and gas distribution networks developed by the designated network operator. For other pipelines, parties may apply for a ministerial designation as a public work so that the envisaged pipeline fall within the scope of the Public Works Act.

Transportation

How is cross-border transportation of oil and gas resources regulated?

The existing downstream networks in the Netherlands are integrated and interconnected with upstream production pipelines, as well as foreign transmission networks in Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom.

Network operators, gas storage companies and liquefied natural gas (LNG) companies must provide system users with all relevant information required for safe and efficient transportation or storage. Network operators also have the statutory task to:

  • connect their network with other networks; and
  • provide information about connections between networks, the use of the networks and the allocation of transportation capacities.

Network operators, gas storage companies and LNG companies must refrain from any form of discrimination among system users. 

Are there specific provisions governing marine and ground transportation of oil and gas resources?

Marine and ground transportation of oil and gas are governed by specific provisions, which emphasise public safety and the potential risk of major accidents (eg, the Public Safety (Establishments) Decree, the Public Safety (Establishments) Regulation, the Major Accidents (Risks) Decree 2015 (Brzo) and the Act on Transport of Dangerous Substances). 

Construction and infrastructure

How are the construction and operation of pipelines, storage facilities and related infrastructure regulated?

With regard to the construction of pipelines, storage facilities (including LNG) and related infrastructure, construction permits and permits under the Zoning Act and the Environmental Management Act are required. Further, the provisions on the construction of pipelines set out in the Mining Regulation must be followed.

What rules govern third-party access to pipelines and related infrastructure?

Access to oil and gas transportation pipelines and associated infrastructure is organised purely by access agreements.

Other than general competition law, no regulated third-party access regime applies to oil and natural gas transportation pipelines and gas storage. As a result, only the abuse of a (joint) dominant position and foreclosure behaviour may be penalised under Dutch or EU competition law.

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