Groningen gas extraction to be halted 8 years sooner than planned

The Dutch government wants to halt gas extraction in Groningen much earlier than originally planned. Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate now thinks that gas extraction in the earthquake-ridden province can be stopped by mid-2022, instead of in 2030, NOS reports.

Wiebes also said that the amount of gas extracted from the Groningen soil will fall below the "safe level" of 12 billion cubic meters next year. In 2020, the gas extraction limit will be 11.8 billion cubic meters. In June last year, the Minster already said that the gas production could be cut to the safe level by 2020, but then still had to wait for a number of measures to be worked out before making the cuts definite.

According to the state supervisor on mines SoDM, an extraction limit of 12 billion cubic meters would in time result in "virtually no earthquakes with a magnitude of more than 1.5"

Just before the summer break the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, called on Wiebes to reduce gas extraction in the province to this level as soon as possible.