Thousands of people participated in a torchlight march through the city of Groningen on Tuesday as a protest against the Dutch government's policy on gas extraction in the northern province. Organizers estimate that about 4,500 people joined the march. The protesters want gas extraction to be further reduced, preferably to zero, and earthquake damage to be compensated, NU.nl reports.
Gas extraction in Groningen will not be further reduced for the time being, the Council of State ruled in an emergency case filed by concerned local residents, GIC reports.
At this stage NAM is allowed to extract 24 billion cubic meters of natural gas from the Groningen gas flied per year.
Groningen residents who suffered suffered earthquake damage to their property several times, have more health problems that those who suffered no damage, according to a study done by the University of Groningen
Cutbacks and reorganization in gas company Nederlandsche Aardolie Maatschappij will lead to 2 thousand layoffs next year, mostly in companies that work with NAM.
Lawyer Gerard Spong filed charges against gas company NAM on behalf of the Groninger Bodem Beweging and a number of individual residents. He is holding the company responsible for the deliberate destruction of houses and buildings in the province of Groningen.
Gas firm NAM is giving the city of Groningen 68 million euros to make the new cultural center, the Groninger Forum, earthquake resistant. The company and the city had previously already broadly agreed on compensation, but the final deal was signed on Wednesday
Dutch gas firm NAM has to compensate residents of the earthquake area in Groningen for the decline in the house prices, even if the homes do not yet show any physical sings of damage or have not been sold yet.
Groningen residents are still in danger of earthquakes caused by gas extraction, even after the extraction limit for this year was reduced to 30 billion cubic meters last week.
Gerald Schotman, director of the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij, is busy with the earthquakes and damage caused by gas extraction "day and night". But he believes that the risks related to gas extraction are acceptable.
Gas extraction in Groningen may be reduced even further for the rest of this year. Sources from within the Binnenhof told NU that the total gas extraction for 2015 may be capped at 30 billion cubic meters, instead of the 39.5 billion cubic meters agreed upon earlier this year.
The economy grew in 10 of the 12 Dutch provinces last year, according to Statistics Netherlands (CBS). Friesland and Groningen were the exceptions.
The Dutch Petroleum Company NAM officially apologized for the problems in Groningen caused by earthquakes in a response to the Safety Board report that came out in February.
About 152 thousand of the 212,500 houses and apartments in Groningen are not safe if a major earthquake should strike. That is the conclusion of engineering firm Van Rossum's impact analysis commissioned by the province of Groningen, NRC reports.
The Tweede Kamer's plan that NAM must prove that damage to homes in Groningen was not caused by earthquakes, rather than the other way around, has the residents in the area very happy
The municipality of Groningen has hired an independent research firm to investigate whether the school buildings in the city are earthquake resistant, alderman Ton Schroor announced yesterday. The investigation is funded by the NAM and results are expected just after summer.
PvdA leader Diederik Samsom is willing to let the government deficit increase for the safety of Groningen or for tax cuts, he said in an interview Wednesday Het Parool reports.
The government acknowledges and regrets that not enough attention was paid to the safety of Groningen in the past, Minister Henk Kamp (Economic Affairs) said in Groningen on behalf of the Cabinet yesterday.
A number of opposition parties yesterday tried to get a debate on gas extraction in Groningen and the risks entailed in it on the agenda before the elections, NU reports. This is following the highly critical report by the Dutch Safety Board on the issue, which was published last week.
As the gas fields grow empty, the province of Groningen will have more and heavier earthquakes, AD reports. This is according to a scientific report by employees of Shell and the NAM, which was recently published in the scientific journal "Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth".
Groningen Mayor Peter den Oudsten wants a parliamentary inquiry to find out what decisions had been made for his province.
The PvdA decided to support Minister Henk Kamp's (Economic Affairs) new gas decision after all, NU reports. A final decision on the reduction of gas extraction in Groningen will only be made on July 1st.
Groningen citizens sang their provincial national anthem in protest against gas extraction in their region during Thursday's Tweede Kamer (Lower House) parliamentary debate on the issue on Thursday.
Minister Henk Kamp announced a package of additional measures that should further enhance the safety and quality of life in Groningen. These measures include a temporary reduction in gas extraction, a National Coordinator, simplified claims and broader compensation measures.
The Dutch government has no plans to change the amount of gas extracted out of Groningen this year, wrote Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp on Thursday. The current level of 39.4 billion cubic meters was recently introduced to reduce the risk of earthquake, and that will remain in effect for now, according to FD.nl.