Gas extraction in Groningen will gradually be reduced to zero, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced in his weekly press conference on Thursday. He called it an "important decision". Shortly after the press conference, the government released a statement saying that gas extraction in the province will be reduced to less than 12 billion cubic meters per year by 2022, and then to 7.5 million cubic meters per year. "In the years after that gas extraction will be reduced to zero."
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.
Dutch oil and gas giant NAM must immediately compensate homeowners in the fracking earthquake zone in Groningen for the depreciation of their home, the court in Leeuwarden ruled on Tuesday. The company only wanted to pay compensation at the sale of the house, arguing that the level of depreciation is only then clear. But the court ruled that it is possible to estimate the value decline of a home without it being sold, NOS reports.
Almost all parties in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, demanded that Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate come up with a protocol for handling earthquake damage caused by gas extraction in Groningen within two weeks. Wiebes will make haste on such a protocol, but can not give a time frame for when it will be ready, he said in a parliamentary debate on the matter on Tuesday, NOS reports.
The Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy Eric Wiebes announced that he intends to accelerate the process of decreasing the gas production in Groningen. The minister made the declaration shortly after a relatively strong earthquake, caused by removing natural gas from the ground in the region, shook the province Monday afternoon, according to FD.
A 3.4-magnitude earthquake rattled the province of Groningen on Monday afternoon. There were no immediate damage reports of note following Monday 3 p.m. quake, which had an epicenter near Zeerijp and could be felt at least 10 kilometers away, the KNMI meteorology agency said.
Broadcaster RTV Noord said those in its Europapark, Groningen offices 20 kilometers away could also feel the ground shake.
Attorney Dennis Woudsma said on Twitter it felt as though the building he was in creaked loudly and then began violently shaking as though someone had grabbed it.
Dutch oil and gas giant NAM warns that gas extraction in Hardenberg and its surrounds can cause subsidence, earthquakes and damages to buildings, De Stentor reports.
The NAM wants to keep extracting gas in the Hardenberg area for thirteen years longer than planned. The chances that these practices will cause ground vibrations are real, according to the company. In worst cases it could cause cracks in the nearby buildings.
Minister Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate called gas extraction in Groningen a "Dutch government failure of un-Dutch like proportions" during a visit to various Groningen municipalities affected by fracking earthquakes on Wednesday. He wants to quickly make agreements with the local governments about the consequences of earthquakes in the province, ANP reports.
Groningen residents and environmental group Milieudefensie dumped a pile of rubble in front of the Ministry of Economic Affairs in The Hague on Thursday morning. The rubble comes from monumental farms that were damaged by earthquakes caused by gas extraction in the province.
Too little attention is paid to children and young people in the Groningen earthquake zone, Children's Ombudsman Margrite Kalverboer said in a new study published on Wednesday. The study found that some of the 30 thousand kids and young people living in the area affected by gas extraction earthquakes, struggle to deal with the earthquakes and their consequences, AD reports.
A consortium of companies discovered a "commercially interesting" gas field in the North Sea, about 20 kilometers north of Schiermonnikoog. According to the companies, the discovery exceeded expectations, ANP reports.
On Tuesday King Willem-Alexander opened the Netherlands' parliamentary year with his traditional Budget Day speech. He talked about the devastation Hurricane Irma left of the Caribbean islands that form part of the Dutch Kingdom, terrorism around the world, the prosecution of those responsible for the MH17 disaster, and making sure that everyone in the Netherlands benefits from the improving economy, among other things.
The Netherlands will be dependent on natural gas imports up to six years sooner than the government expects, according to a study by research institute TNO. The researchers call on the government to take timely measures to make sure that households don't end up without gas, NOS reports.
After a break of almost three weeks, the VVD, CDA, D66 and ChristenUnie are meeting today to continue negotiating forming a government together. It's now been 144 days since the government formation talks began. On average, formation talks last 90 days, RTL Nieuws reports.
Dutch oil and gas giant NAM is appealing to the Council of State against Minister Henk Kamp's decision to further reduce gas extraction in earthquake plagued Groningen. According to NAM, the Economic Affairs Minister ignored the already established safety standard for gas extraction in the province when making his decision, NU.nl reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte is visiting Groningen on Friday to discuss gas extraction in the province and the many fracking earthquakes it resulted in. His schedule includes talks with people affected by earthquake damage, a dinner and receiving a petition against gas extraction, Dagblad van het Noorden reports.
Dutch petroleum company NAM has withdrawn from handling claims related to earthquake damage or any other problems caused by gas extraction in Groningen, RTV Noord reports based on sources within NAM. This follows a report the Dutch Safety Board published on Thursday which states that the Dutch government should be responsible for handling Groningen fracking damage claims, not NAM, NU.nl reports.
Dutch petroleum company NAM can be held liable for immaterial damage suffered by a number of Groningen earthquake victims, the court in Assen ruled on Wednesday. This immaterial damage includes physical symptoms like headaches as well as psychological problems like anxiety, NU.nl reports.