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.
No new oil- or gas fields were discovered in the Dutch part of the North Sea last year, Financieele Dagblad reports based on figures from research agency TNO. The Netherlands has a need for new gas- and oil fields, because the current fields are getting older and emptier, according to the newspaper.
Extracting gas and oil from domestic soil is good for the treasury and it limits the need for imports from other countries. In 2004, the Netherlands extracted 29 billion cubic meters of gas. That has since fallen to 11.3 billion cubic meters.
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.
Since 2010 Dutch banks and insurers provided around 7.9 billion euros in financing to large shale gas and plastic companies, according to research by the Fair Banking and Insurance Guide. ING was the largest Dutch financier for these companies, investing 3.5 billion euros into them, NU.nl 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 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.
A criminal investigation into NAM was launched because of the leak of toxic natural gas condensate into a canal in Farmsum, Groningen, the State supervisor on mines SodM announced. A stain of natural gas condensate has been floating in the canal since Thursday, NU.nl reports.
Natural gas condensate is a byproduct of natural gas extraction. It is a very toxic substance. It leaked into the canal after a drip tray in which the condensate was collected overflowed, according to the newspaper.
Despite economic setbacks that threaten from the Brexit and United States president Donald Trump's trade wars, this is a logical time to give "something back" to the Dutch, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said about the budget and the government's plans for next year, NU.nl reports.
A demonstration by action group Code Rood in Farmsum, Groningen, again came to a clash with the police on Wednesday evening. The police again used batons to keep activists away from the NAM facility's fence, something the police later said they regretted. According to the police, batons should not have been used, but they were due to a communication error, NOS reports.
The police and activists clashed during a protest against gas extraction in Farmsum, Groningen on Tuesday. The activists are blocking access to a NAM site in the town. Police kept them away from the fence with batons and pepper spray, RTL Nieuws reports.
Activists blocked access to NAM's Tankenpark in Farmsum, Groningen on Tuesday morning in a protest against gas extraction in the province. According to action group Code Rood, more than 700 people gathered at the gates. The group wants to block the entrance for several days, ANP reports.
The members of the Rutte III government were all "overwhelmed" by the decision of Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate to stop gas extraction in Groningen, he said on television program Zomergasten. In March the government decided to halt gas production in the earthquake ridden region by 2030 at the latest, ANP reports.
The Netherlands is not sufficiently prepared to deal with the consequences of a long-term gas shortage, according to a crisis plan from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate that EenVandaag got hold of by appealing to the freedom of information act.
The crisis plan describes possible steps the Netherlands can take if gas extraction in Groningen has to be halted sooner than planned, for example due to a massive earthquake, and if the country can't get enough gas from abroad to meet the demand. The plan dates from January 2018.
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.
The repair and reinforcement of homes that suffered serious damage as a result of gas extraction earthquakes in Groningen, needs to be speeded up, the state supervision on mines SoDM said in advice to Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs, RTL Nieuws reports.
Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate reached an agreement with Shell and ExxonMobil about gas production in Groningen. The government and NAM will invest at least 1 billion euros into quality of life in the gas mining area.
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.