In 1948, the first natural gas was found in Netherlands. Since 1951 it has been supplied by gas undertakings. Originally reserves were limited (c. 350 milliard ftU3D of dry gas in the NE. and c. 175 milliard ftU3D, mostly wet gas, in the SW). These finds have been completely overshadowed by the huge deposits discovered in 1960 in the province of Groningen near the village of Slochteren, these reserves being estimated now at 38.5 billion ftU3D at least. This gas is not of high cal val (894 Btu/ftU3D), but contains only traces of sulfur. The concession is being developed for a partnership formed by Shell (30%), Standard Oil Company of new Jersey (Esso, 30%), and ''Staatsmijnen,'' the Government owned Netherlands State Mining Industry (40%). The natural gas is destined, first, for domestic use, especially, for space heating, and secondly, for industrial purpose, after which important quantities will be available for export.