Council of State stops Groningen gas extraction in Loppersum

A NAM gas extraction field (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Thijs)A NAM gas extraction field (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Thijs)

Gas extraction in Loppersum, Groningen is temporarily stopped under strict conditions to protect the safety of area residents, the Council of State in the Netherlands decided on Tuesday. A final decision will be released later this year, the council stated.

Loppersum is the focal point of some of the strongest earthquakes in the region. There are five gas wells located there which must now be closed.

However, gas extraction may begin again at the site if problems occur at other parts of the Groningen gas field, or if there is an increase in natural gas demand, broadcaster NOS reported.

The decision comes despite the government's recent approval of safety measures meant to reduce earthquakes in the area caused by gas extraction.

The Netherlands is experimenting with new techniques for household heating, and has committed to investing in geothermal research to reduce the country's reliance on natural gas.