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.
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 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 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.
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 next week Friday to discuss gas extraction and the problem the province has with fracking earthquakes. His schedule includes meetings with mayors, provincial managers, residents foundation Groninger Bodem Beweging and the Groninger Gasberaad, NU.nl reports.
Last year the Dutch government made 2.4 billion euros from natural gas extraction - almost 3 billion euros less than in 2015 and the lowest level since 1975, according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands on Wednesday.
The decrease can partly be attributed to decreased gas extraction due to the risk of earthquakes, according to the statistics office. Lower gas prices also played a role - last year the producer prices were halved compared to 2013.
Put environmental goals down in the law, reduce gas extraction in Groningen to almost zero, implement a road tax based on kilometers and emissions, ban the sale of fossil-fueled vehicles after 2025 and close all the coal plants in the Netherlands, the environmental committees of six political parties write in a proposal for the climate portion of the governance agreement, the Volkskrant reports.
The directors of Dutch oil and gas giant NAM may face up to 15 years in prison should the company end up being prosecuted for earthquake damage to houses in Groningen, according to well-known Dutch lawyer Gerard Spong. On Thursday the Arnhem-Leeuwarden court ordered the Public Prosecutor to start a criminal investigation against NAM over damages caused by earthquakes that resulted from years of gas extraction in the province.
The Dutch government is reducing gas extraction in Groningen by a further 10 percent based on advice from the State supervision on mines SodM that this is the only way to reduce the chance of heavy earthquakes in the region, Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs announced on Tuesday. This year 24 billion cubic meters of gas can be extracted in Groningen, as of October 1st that will be reduced to 21.6 billion cubic meters, NU.nl 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.
Groningen residents are not only voting in the parliamentary elections today, they are also given the opportunity to sign a petition against gas drilling in the province. During the night, groups of volunteers hung posters at nearly all 406 polling stations in Groningen, calling on voters to sign a petition by Freek de Jonge, RTV Noord reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte was barely able to get a word out on talk show Pauw en Jinek on Monday night because of a group of furious Groningen residents shouting and booing at him from the audience. They are furious about the VVD government's policy on gas production in their province, AD reports.
"Mr. Rutte drained us for six and a half years. And he is still doing it. He is depicted as a positive politician, an optimist. But you know what an optimist does? Laughs everying away, so he laughs away our problems", one angry audience member said.