The Netherlands, which has no waterpower, depends on natural gas and petroleum as energy sources. It is the second-largest producer of natural gas in the North Sea region. The vast Slochteren reserve in Groningen Province, which began production in 1959 and is one of the world's largest producing natural gas fields, and lesser deposits in the North Sea have enabled the country to meet its energy demands largely from domestic supplies. The gas is produced from 30 offshore facilities in the North Sea and 20 onshore installations. Proved natural gas reserves totaled 1.8 trillion cu m (63.5 trillion cu ft) at the beginning of 2002; production in 2000 was 73.6 billion cu m (2.6 trillion cu ft).
The second principal energy source is oil, which provided about 45% of the Netherlands' primary energy needs in 2000. Increased domestic production of crude petroleum 89,000 barrels per day in 2000) from offshore deposits in the North Sea still left the nation dependent on imported petroleum. The Arab oil embargo and the tripling of oil prices in 1973–74 led the government to introduce energy-saving programs; energy consumption increased by an average of only about 0.5% annually between 1975 and 1985 and by an average of 1.1% yearly from 1986 to 1992. The Netherlands reexports two-thirds of all imported petroleum in the form of refined oil products. Production of the petroleum-refining industry increased from 173 million barrels in 1990 to 524 million barrels in 1994. Refining capacity was 1.2 million barrels per day at the beginning of 2002.
Production of electric power in 2000 totaled 88 billion kWh, of which thermal power plants using oil and coal as fuel supplied 90.3%, nuclear power plants 4.2%, and other sources 5.4%, and hydropower less than 1%. Nuclear generating capacity is provided chiefly by a 450 MW station in Borssele, Zeeland. As of 2002 the Netherlands was one of five European Union (EU) countries that had declared a moratorium on building new nuclear facilities. Consumption of electricity in 2000 was 100.7 billion kWh. Installed capacity in 2001 was 21.1million kW.