Dutch gas firm apologizes for causing earthquakes

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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. 

"It is a fact that the gas production in Groningen cause earthquakes and that the impact of the earthquakes deeply affect the lives of the Groningen residents." NAM director Gerald Schotman writes. "I deeply regret that the earthquakes cause problems for so many people and I want to apologize for that."

Schotman also writes that he aims to finalize long running damaged claims that are being handled by NAM this year. The communication with residents in the gas extraction area will be improved by, among other things, an information center in Loppersum and a resident's newspaper.

The Safety Board's report came down hard on NAM, stating that the safety of residents were ignored for decades in favor of economic gain by extracting as much gas as possible. Minister Henk Kamp of economic affairs already apologized for this on behalf of the government.

Schotman writes that he regrets that an investigation into the safety risks was not done at an earlier stage. "We could have been more curious about exactly what happens in and above the soil in Groningen. We could have done more for outside noises. I regret that that did not happen."

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