NAM – Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij BV

Securing the future

NAM (Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij BV) is an exploration and production company with authentic Dutch roots, with headquarters located in Assen in the Netherlands. The company is responsible for unlocking two of the Netherlands’ most important resources, gas and oil. While the gas industry within Holland remains buoyant, the energy market across Europe is gradually changing, and one way is the shift towards renewables. While NAM will continue to be a major oil and gas supplier, it is also developing ways in which it will be an important figure as these future changes take place. The business has a huge role in supplying energy in the Netherlands, and it remains committed to continually improving, innovating, and harnessing the latest technology. Due to all of these factors, and its many years in the industry, and approach to public relations, it will no doubt have an important role in how energy production develops in Holland.

NAM’s history goes back many decades, and in 2017 it will mark its 70th anniversary, which is a huge achievement and demonstrates the level of experience and expertise it has within the industry. The significant position of NAM in Holland is clearly visible due to the fact that it supplies 75 per cent of the natural gas required by Dutch households and businesses, while its Groningen gas field supplies gas to 98 per cent of the population in the Netherlands. As such, the company has been a mainstay of Holland’s energy production for many years, and been a significant figure of success for the country, particularly during the 1980s and 1990s. It would be possible for a company that has operated in the oil and gas industry for such a long period of time to lack the capabilities to change or adapt. The company could become stagnated in processes or methods, which it had operated previously, and be slow to see shifts in the market and technology. However, NAM ensures that it does the opposite, and while calling upon the depth of experience and knowledge of the industry it also believes in constant innovation, and as such has continuously improved over the years. In regards to this point Chief Executive Officer Gerald Schotman said: “I believe that we can be very proud of where we are and what we have achieved, but also where we are going and what we will achieve.”

There are a number of ways that NAM is approaching the future of the energy industry, and it is exploring a wide range of opportunities. There will no doubt continue to be a huge need for gas in Holland, but there will also likely be further moves towards different energy methods, and NAM’s can-do approach and strategic planning will pay dividends. Gerald explained some of these possibilities: “If you talk about bigger scale ideas then it is about how we are able to use our infrastructure, our competence, and capabilities, and leverage that, an example would be hybrid opportunities – looking at possibilities to combine conventional oil and gas exploration with geothermal heat and hot water targets. Having gas meet wind offshore – recognising that facilities offshore are in the vicinity. There are a number of hybrid opportunities and we are working with a variety of partners to see how we can make more out of wind and gas than the sum of the components.” Gerald added: “Longer term I think the challenge particularly around renewable energy will be that you need to store it somewhere. This means that another way for a gas company to execute its business in an even more profitable and sustainable way is by being that source, storing, transporting, or even converting that energy.”

In addition to these innovations NAM has also made strides forward in other areas, such as in regards to how it interacts with the public. This was of importance after issues surrounding earthquakes from activity on the Groningen gas field, and in the wake of this the company committed €100 million of budget to an extensive investigation into these issues. In addition to this side of NAM’s response it also aimed to change how it engaged with the public, and improve this, as Gerald highlighted: “We have really stepped up our dialogue with society, for example we will hold evening events where we exchange thoughts with people who are affected by the tremors. Listening is crucial to this, as it is about trying to better understand them, and have a receptive approach to hear about what affects them, what concerns them, and what is important for them, and reflect on how you can move forward with those in mind.”

The change in how NAM engages with the public and the real drive towards fostering a culture that finds even more positive ways to listen and understand society demonstrates the evolving strengths of the company. It is similar to the fresh approaches the company has taken to work towards practically reducing CO2 emissions, as well as finding methods to work in harmony with renewables to supply the population of Holland in the future. While the company will remain firmly a gas supplier, it will adopt new methods that benefit the business, the industry, and society, as the energy industry gradual evolves. Therefore, with its wealth of experience and expertise, that works in partnership with its strive for innovation and technological improvement, NAM will no doubt have an essential role in Holland’s energy supply for many decades to come.

NAM – Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij BV

Products: Onshore and offshore oil and gas