Shell, Exxon wants compensation from Dutch gov't for Groningen gas left un-extracted: report
Shell and Exxon wants the government to pay them billions of euros in compensation for the gas that will not be extracted from Groningen now that the government is gradually reducing gas production in the province to zero, NOS reports.
With the government's plans to stop gas extraction in Groningen, between 50 and 120 billion euros of gas will remain un-mined, according to documents NOS got by appealing to the freedom of information act. The oil companies want compensation for that. Previously Minister Erik Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate said that the government "does not want a claim for damage over the gas remaining in the ground", according to the broadcaster.
Gas production in Groningen is currently capped at 21.6 billion cubic meters per year. By 2022 the government wants to reduce that to less than 12 billion cubic meters per year, and in the years after that to zero. Once gas production is stopped, an estimated 85 to 90 percent of the gas in the province will have been extracted, according to Wiebes. The total amount of the damages the oil companies want to claim for what remains, will depend on the gas price at the time.
Groningen faces multiple earthquakes a year due to gas extraction in the province. The earthquakes leave homes and infrastructure damaged, and Groningen residents feeling unsafe. Following an earthquake at Zeerijp with a 3.4 magnitude early this year, the state supervision on mines SodM called on the government to rapidly reduce gas drilling in the province. The government gave heed.