The Netherlands Halts Gas Drilling at Europe’s Largest Field


Rate this post

The Netherlands has officially ceased drilling operations at Europe’s largest gas field located in Groningen. A significant moment was marked with a symbolic ceremony held at the very site where the deposit was initially discovered back in 1959.

The Netherlands Halts Gas Drilling at Europe's Largest Field

Since the early 1960s, the Groningen field has played a crucial role in the Dutch economy due to its substantial gas reserves. However, the drilling activities over the years have led to a concerning increase in seismic activity. The situation escalated notably in the 2010s, with a particularly impactful event occurring in 2012 when Groningen experienced a 3.6 magnitude earthquake, the strongest on record for the region.

In response to the growing seismic risks, authorities made the decision in 2018 to gradually phase out gas extraction. While drilling effectively ceased in October 2023, a few wells were left operational as a precaution against potential emergencies such as severe winter conditions and global uncertainties stemming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Since 1986, approximately 1600 earthquakes of varying intensities have been recorded in the Groningen area, resulting in significant damage to numerous homes and structures. Despite the halt in drilling activities, concerns remain regarding the possibility of further seismic events due to underground cavities left by the extraction process.

Major energy corporations Shell and ExxonMobil, the operators of the Groningen gas field, are currently pursuing compensation from Dutch authorities for the extensive gas reserves that will now remain untapped.

Yorum yapın