Minister wants earthquake risk through gas extraction lowered

Economic affairs minister Henk Kamp has told people in Groningen they will be given more clarity on the risk of strong earthquakes as a result of gas drilling within ten months.

Kamp was speaking at a packed meeting in the northern province, following unrest among locals caused by the publication of an economic affairs ministry report saying gas extraction may cause earthquakes of up to 5 on the Richter scale.

The minister told the meeting he wants to know before December 1 whether gas group NAM can lower the risk of major earthquakes by finding an alternative way of extracting the gas.


Kamp said homes and other buildings in the area will be strengthened in the next six months. NAM is making €100m available for the work. ‘If the enquiry into earthquake risk means more money is needed, more money will be made available,’ he said.

He also said he will be talking to the water authorities about the damage that may be caused to dykes and will look into the safety of underground gas pipes.

However, it was clear from Kamp’s comments at the meeting that stopping the drilling is not an option, local media reported.

Earlier stories
Earthquake risk is manageable and acceptable, says gas group
Gas extraction group NAM should investigate earthquakes
Second minor earthquake hits Groningen


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