Image (adapted): Scott Schwartz, licence


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December 30th, 2013

The amount of gas extracted keeps growing.

Table: Gas production Groningen field 2003 - 2013 (1000 Nm3, 101325 Pa, 0°C)
Notice that production has been increased after the "Huizinge" quake in 2012 - despite its devastating effect on thousands of houses.
year 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
pro­duc­tion 29040195 32835100 33782668 33205005 28904316 41203221 37670530 50859084 46779674 47773527 54163611

We now realize that Shell and ExxonMobil extracted twice the amount of gas they agreed upon for 2013.

Aluminium Smelter Bankrupt

And then, Aldel, an aluminium smelter and a major employer in the Groningen region is declared bankrupt. The reason for this is, oh irony, that the gas used for electricity production is too expensive.

This is a turning point. Over the last two years, the number of quakes and the intensity of the quakes have increased. Houses are slowly collapsing and most of the profits from extraction have been invested in the Western part of the Netherlands. Finally, the people in Groningen decide no longer to put up with this shit.

While the rest of the Netherlands has no clue whatsoever what is going on, the people in Groningen get angrier.

January 17th, 2014

Mr. Kamp, Minister for Economic Affairs, pays a visit to Loppersum, the heart of the area. The mood isn't very cheerful:

Samsom (leader of the Dutch labour party and vice-premier) also visits the North.

Northener: Together we stand? Where were you when we needed you? You've let us down.

Samsom: No.

Northener: Yes.

Samsom: That is to say…

Compensation Compared To Turnover In Recent Years
turnover 2010 turnover 2011 turnover 2012 turnover 2013 Compensation
billion euros 10.5 12.2 14.2 15.1 1.2

Early 2014, it is decided that Groningen shall receive 1.2 billion euros compensation. This may seem a lot, but it’s nowhere near enough to cover all of the property damage.

Compensation Compared To Total Gas Revenues
Total Gas Revenues (mostly spent in the West of the Netherlands) Compensation (to be spent in Groningen)
billion euros 260 1.2

Now, let’s compare compensation to total gas revenues.

In other words

Compensation is a mere pittance compared to total gas revenues.

March 10th, 2014

One of the finest Dutch traditions is activated: a so-called ‘dialogue table’, where all stakeholders come together. Through a dialectical and iterative process they will meet each other halfway – after which gas extraction will be business as usual.

April 3rd, 2014

The SodM (“State Supervision of Mines”) “ensures that mining activities and the transport of natural gas are performed in a socially responsible manner”. This governmental body is led by Jan W. De Jong, who is highly appreciated by all stakeholders because of his critical attitude.

He leaves the SodM.

[…]“Sources have told local broadcasting station RTV Noord that his criticism was the reason why De Jong was pressurised into leaving. The SodM states that this is absolute nonsense.

Ms Van Tongeren of the Dutch GreenLeft Party says De Jong deserves to retire, but will be sorely missed by the people in Groningen.

“He was an unimpeachable man with a backbone. No-one else has so much support in the region. It is difficult to accept that he is leaving just as the dialogue table commences and things are very fragile. Everyone was on speaking terms with him: the NAM, the government, environmental organizations, the people living in the region”

August 11th 2014

The KNMI (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute), who could help by expanding the monitoring network, choses to keep silent, except for one announcement on August 11th 2014. New measurement results will be reported within a couple of months. November 2014: they still haven’t reported these results.

September 23rd, 2014

Google announces it will build an enormous datacentre in the Eemshaven (Groningen).

Remember: A fuddle of biblical proportions takes hold of the northerners. Salvation is in sight!

A New Chapter

The city trembles

Photomontage of the central square in the city of Groningen (Grote Markt), 1945. Added a drilling rig with flare.

September 29th, 2014

On September 29th, the earth shakes close to Groningen city. With a population of approx. 200,000, this is the largest city in the North. Because of the population density and damages to a lot of important buildings, this earthquake is a game changer.

Two days later NAM has a new boss. And this boss is chums with the new boss at SodM (State Supervision of the Mines, the institution that needs to keep an eye on NAM). It turns out there are a lot of chums in this business:

A big network

Lots of connections. Elsewhere on this site you'll find an interactive version.

January 9th, 2015

Regional broadcaster RTV Noord and national broadcaster NOS quote from the draft report prepared by the Dutch Safety Board. In it, harsh criticism is delivered. The Dutch Safety Boards lashes out at all parties involved, such as the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Shell and Exxons joint venture NAM, Dutch State Supervision of Mines and research institutes KNMI (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute) and TNO (“Netherlands Organisation for applied scientific research”). The only thing they care about is money. To them, the safety of the people living on top of the Groningen field never had any relevance. In the DSB report researchers from TNO and KNMI come across as spineless wimps. Also, State Supervision of Mines is found to utterly lack independence.

Shortly after this information is brought to the attention of the public, NAM threatens to have those who dare publish the entire contents of the draft report prosecuted. This act in and of itself shows NAM has no morals.

€ EZ € € NAM € € KNMI € € TNO € € NAM € € SHELL € € EXXON €

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