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Infamous report blames state and oil companies for Groningen gas failure

Tom van der Lee outlines the main findings of the report. Photo: Vincent Jannink ANP

The interests of the people of Groningen were systematically ignored by both the government and the oil companies, and making money remained the main focus when natural gas drilling began causing earthquakes, according to a parliamentary committee set up to investigate. It was a matter of interest.

Commission chairman Tom van der Lee said in the presentation of a report on the issue, completed after two years and hundreds of interviews, that the worlds of decision-makers and locals were “miles apart.” I was there,” he said.

The gas extraction was an “unprecedented system failure”, with both the public and private sectors failing to meet their obligations, Mr Van der Lee said.

Ministers were not properly informed, which meant that MPs failed to act as guardians of the public interest. The material and emotional damage inflicted on local people was consistently underestimated, and profit maximization was the guiding principle.

The study found that the development of a large gas field under the northern states would cause a great deal of uncertainty among locals, damage thousands of homes and cost billions of euros in additional costs. It was set up to find out exactly what caused the 1980s and led to ongoing disputes about who was who. Responsible for what

Since 1986, more than 1,600 earthquakes with magnitudes up to 3.6 have struck the state. Some 85,000 buildings have been damaged at least once, but only 30% of his homes are safe again to date, Van der Lee said.

“The commission believes that the Netherlands owes Groningen a debt of honor,” he said. It has been a great source.”


This comes at a cost, he said, and now is the time for the state and oil companies to pay their debts. “It is not just about who is responsible. It’s about requirements.

In particular, the process of strengthening houses and repairing damage should be streamlined and rules should not be rigidly applied, he said. Also, in order to broaden the horizons of the region as a whole, investments are needed to attract new businesses and to protect its cultural heritage.

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The report was launched in the village of Groningen in Seelip, where a magnitude 3.4 earthquake struck in 2018. Ultimately, the government decided this year to phase out gas extraction from under the state.

In total, 68 people were interrogated by the commission, ranging from senior civil servants and Shell officials to local residents and children. During the hearing, it was revealed that a mining inspector had recommended that he scale back gas extraction in 2013 because of the risk of earthquakes. warning ignored.

The Dutch government has earned over €360 billion from developing the Groningen gas field since mining began in 1963.

Adjusted for inflation, total revenues from the gas region amounted to €428 billion, of which €360 billion went to the government and €66 billion to Shell and ExxonMobil, joint owners of NAM established in 1963. split between Distributing gas in the Netherlands.

https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2023/02/damning-report-slams-state-oil-companies-for-groningen-gas-failures/ Infamous report blames state and oil companies for Groningen gas failure

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