The Ministry of Economic Affairs ignored signals and reports that there were many problems with Centrum Veilig Wonen (CVW) - the company responsible for reinforcing homes in Groningen against fracking earthquakes - for years. The then National Coordinator for Groningen Hans Alders warned the Ministry that the company was not complying with agreements, and that Groningen residents were the victims of this, in the summer of 2017.
In August last year, gas extraction company NAM threatened to stop extracting gas in Groningen prematurely if the liability for damages caused by gas extraction in the province is not shifted away from the company, RTV Noord reports based on a secret report on a meeting between NAM director Thijs Jurgens, officials from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, and representatives of the National Coordinator for Groningen.
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.
The temporary committee for mining damage in Groningen, TCMG, paid out a total of over 80 million euros in damage claims to Groningen residents since March last year. Over 17 thousand damage claims haven't yet been processed, and more claims continue to come in. Last week the committee received 462 new damage claims, the TCMG announced, NOS reports.
A total of 127 damage reports were received after a fracking earthquake in Groningen on Sunday morning, the temporary committee that handles mining damage in Groningen TCMG said. Six of the reports were of acutely dangerous damage. According to the committee, it is difficult to say how much of the reported damage is the direct result of the earthquake, NOS reports.
The temporary committee for mining damage in Groningen TCMG received a total of 2,875 damage reports after a 3.4 magnitude earthquake at Westerwijtwerd in the municipality of Loppersumm last week, RTV Noord reports.
Most of the damage reports came from the municipality of Groningen, 1,323 in total. Stadskanaal is the only municipality in the province that had no damage reports. There were also dozens of reports from the province of Drenthe.
The Temporary Committee on Mining Damage in Groningen received 90 damage reports on Wednesday after a 3.4 magnitude earthquake hit the province near the village of Westerwijwerd early in the morning. There were also 12 reports of potentially acutely dangerous situations, NU.nl reports.
Groningen was hit by a major earthquake at around 5:50 a.m. on Wednesday morning. The quake had a magnitude of 3.4 on the Richter scale, according to meteorological institute KNMI.
Many people across a large area of the province felt the quake. RTV Noord received over a hundred reports of it. The epicenter was at Westerwijtwerd, a village in the north of the province that falls under the municipality of Loppersum, according to the KNMI. The meteorological institute called it an induced earthquake, which means that it was caused by gas extraction in the province.
A parliamentary inquiry will be done into gas extraction in Groningen. The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, unanimously supported this. According to the Kamer, it will be good for the restoration of Groningen's trust in politics if there is accountability for choices made by persons, organizations and institutions. When exactly the inquiry will start is not yet clear, but it is unlikely that it will start earlier than next year, NOS reports.
Over 5 thousand Groningen residents submitted a joint claim against NAM for compensation for immaterial damages suffered through gas extraction in the province. The claim was filed with the court in Assen, which awarded damages to 127 Groningen residents in March, NOS reports.
A total of 8 thousand Groningen residents reported to tenants' organizations and De Woonbond over the past year for help in filing a claim for non-material damage because gas extraction earthquakes in the area disturbed their living enjoyment, De Woonbond announced on Friday, NU.nl reports.
The Groningen residents will be assisted in their claim by De Haan Advocaten & Notarissen. The firm previously successfully assisted other Groningen residents in a similar case.
The Groningen city of Appingedam was hit by two earthquakes in two days time. The earthquakes happened on Wednesday and Thursday, and both registered 1.9 on the Richter scale, according to meteorological institute KNMI.
Multiple people reported feeling the quakes, Dagblad van het Noorden reports. Some also reported hearing a bang with Thursday's earthquake.
Over the past two weeks there were eight small earthquakes in the gas extraction area in Groningen:
A small earthquake, registering 2.0 on the Richter scale, hit the Drenthe village of Dalen on Tuesday morning. The quake happened at a depth of three kilometers, and was so light that many people did not even notice it, RTV Drenthe reports.
"Gas is extracted near Dalen. We also believe that the earthquake has to do with that", Laslo Evers, seismologist at meteorological institute KNMI, said to the broadcaster. There were previously gas extraction quakes near Dalen in 2000 and 2002.
On Thursday opposition parties in parliament insisted that Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs reverses his decision to postpone the reinforcement of 1,588 homes in the province of Groningen, NU.nl reports.
The Noord-Holland village of Warder, near Edam, was shaken by an earthquake around 1:00 a.m. on Tuesday. The quake measured 2.5 on the Richter scale and happened around 3 kilometers underground, according to meteorological institute KNMI.
The KNMI describes it as an "induced quake", which means that it was caused by gas extraction, according to RTL Nieuws.
"It is a fantastic party and I find Groningen a fantastic city", King Willem-Alexander said to NOS during the King's Day festivities in Groningen on Thursday. "Much thanks to Groningen, it is really a cool city", Queen Maxima added.
The Royal Family spent King Willem-Alexander's 51st birthday in Groningen. Thousands of people gathered in the city to see the Royals and enjoy the festivities Groningen arranged.
Dutch petroleum company NAM wants Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs to adjust the proposals for the new Mining and Gas Act so that the company is less responsible for the consequences of gas extraction in Groningen, such as damage caused by earthquakes, Trouw reports.
On Monday the claims desk specifically for handling damages caused by gas extraction in Groningen opened. The 30 employees of the claims desk is facing a major workload - around 12 thousand damage cases are waiting to be examined, because almost nothing has been done with them since March 31st last year, RTL Nieuws reports.
An independent committee will start by making an inventory and assessing the damage claims. The claims desk is part of a new damage protocol that Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate presented on January 31st.
The province of Groningen was hit by another earthquake caused by gas extraction on Sunday afternoon. The quake had a magnitude of 2.2, according to meteorological institute KNMI. It's epicenter was in the town of Garrelsweer at a depth of 3 kilometers.
On Thursday a 2.0 magnitude earthquake could also be felt in the province. This one's epicenter was in Scharmer, near Loppersum.
An earthquake was felt in Groningen on Thursday afternoon. According to meteorological institute KNMI, the quake had a magnitude of 2.0 and it's epicenter was near Loppersum at a depth of 3 kilometers.
The quake happened around 4:30 p.m., according to broadcaster NOS. Dozens of people from Loppersum, Zeerijp and Garrelsweer reported feeling it. The KNMI called it an 'induced' earthquake, which means that it was caused by gas extraction.
Gas production in Loppersum, Groningen has been shut down with immediate effect, Dutch petroleum company NAM announced on Friday. Closing the Loppersum gas fields immediately was one of the measures the state supervisor on mines SoDM advised following an earthquake in the region last month, the strongest earthquake to hit Groningen in five years.
Gas extraction in Groningen must be halved to a maximum of 12 billion cubic meters a year in order to stop fracking earthquakes and guarantee safety in the province, the state supervisor on mines SoDM said in a recommendation to Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate on Thursday. The Loppersum clusters must close immediately, the SoDM said, RTL Nieuws reports.
Dutch gas firm NAM will for the time being not pay profits to its two shareholders - Shell and ExxonMobil, Shell announced in a press release. NAM has 18 billion euros available to compensate for damaged caused by gas extraction related earthquakes in Groningen for the next five years, the Dutch gas firm also announced in a press release.
The Dutch government wants to start building new houses without a connection to the gas network starting this year.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, already agreed that new homes should not be connected to the gas network. But the government thinks that this can be started sooner than the four years planned. On Thursday the coalition wants to arrange that average new homes are built without this connection, RTL Nieuws reports.