Quakes in Gas Fields Ignored for Years, Dutch Agency Finds

Quakes in Gas Fields Ignored for Years, Dutch Agency Finds

Postby Oscar » Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:35 am

Quakes in Gas Fields Ignored for Years, Dutch Agency Finds

[ http://thetyee.ca/News/2015/02/20/Dutch ... ign=200215 ]

Safety board's report a relevant read for any fracking zone.

By Andrew Nikiforuk, February 20, 2015 TheTyee.ca

A report from the Dutch Safety Board has accused the oil and gas industry and Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs of willfully downplaying the risk of earthquakes caused by the rapid depletion of Europe's largest gas field. [ http://www.onderzoeksraad.nl/uploads/ph ... gen-en.pdf ]

The board's conclusions offer lessons for other regions coping with earthquakes caused by fluid injection and hydraulic fracturing.

Ever since the shale gas industry changed the seismic record of states and provinces like Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and British Columbia, many industry lobbyists and regulators have been quick to deny and dismiss citizen's concerns about the seismic hazards.

The Groningen field, which lies under a 900 square-kilometre area in the northern part of the Netherlands, has been drained by a consortium -- Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij, or NAM -- jointly owned by Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell since the 1960s.

The Dutch government, a minor petrostate, is highly dependent on revenues from gas extraction, pulling in an average of 12 billion Euros or US$16.3 billion a year.

According to anti-drilling group De Groniger Doem Beweging (The Groningen Ground Movement), approximately 60 per cent of the 60,000 homeowners in the Groningen region have recorded earthquake damage to their homes over the last decade. Many homes now remain unsellable in the industry-made earthquake zone.

Designed to 'optimize revenues'

According to the Dutch Safety Board, until 2013 the government acted as though "the safety of citizens in Groningen with regard to induced earthquakes had no influence on decision-making."

The extraction of gas in the Netherlands was designed first and foremost to "optimize revenues" to Big Oil and the government, and "safety interests" were not embedded in the system, the report found.

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[ http://thetyee.ca/News/2015/02/20/Dutch ... ign=200215 ]
Oscar
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