Trust in Dutch gas bottoms out on investigation of earthquake report

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earthquake Richter. Picture: Matt Katzenberger/Flickr

Scientists at TU Delft sharply criticized the conclusions of a study into the risk of earthquake damage to homes and buildings on the edge of the Groningen gas field. The scientists found that the number of buildings examined in the study was too small to make a general statement or draw a conclusion, NOS reports.

The study was performed by research firm Arcadis on behalf of NAM last year. NAM is the company that extracts gas from Groningen, causing numerous fracking earthquakes in the region. The outcome of the study was that the risk of damage to buildings on the edge of the gas field is so small its negligible. That means that NAM does not have to pay compensation for the damage to houses in the area, as the damage was almost certainly not caused by the fracking earthquakes, according to the broadcaster.

Hans Alders, the National Coordinator for Groningen, asked TU Delft scientists to check the study and its conclusions. The Delft scientists concluded that the number of examined buildings is too small to make a general statement about all damaged buildings in the area. They also found that the boundaries of the area in which NAM does cover damages were drawn to small.

Based on this Alders decided that all damaged properties, even on the edge of the gas field, will be evaluated individually. He wants this to also apply to future damages related to fracking earthquakes. He asked NAM to conduct the individual inspections.

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