Netherlands plan to close Groningen gas field

Dutch authorities still think that the Groningen gas field, once the largest in Europe, should be closed by October. The reason is the risk of earthquakes. This information was given by the Financial Times, with reference to the governmental authorities on Sunday.

Hans Vijlbrief, State Secretary for the Extractive Industries, declared he would continue to follow the previously defined schedule. According to him, the quake-prone gas field should be closed on October 1 with the possibility of preserving it in working order for another year. It is important in case Europe runs out of gas next winter.

In an interview with FT, the policymaker said that everyone who knows about the threat of earthquakes tells him how risky it is to continue working there. Therefore, he is convinced that Groningen should be closed.

Production at the gas field was drastically reduced during the 2010s. That happened after the authorities and NAM (joint venture of Exxon and Shell) understood the threat that earthquakes pose to people and equipment.

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