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Posts under ‘Groningen Earthquakes’

Dutch residents lose patience after years of tremors

Anjli Raval, Oil & Gas Correspondent

This corner of the Netherlands has for decades been blighted by earthquakes triggered by extraction from the Groningen gasfield, discovered in 1959 and the largest in Europe. But their frequency and magnitude have been increasing, damaging houses and infrastructure and agitating communities who blame the government and two of the world’s biggest energy companies for billions of euros in damage.

FULL ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND ON FT WEBSITE

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Canadian shale boom triggers quakes in Alberta town as frackers rush to drill new wells

Communities like Fox Creek, Alberta, are feeling the economic benefits of the shale boom, along with fracking-linked earthquakes. 

Drilling has been so intense near Fox Creek, Alberta that it’s been linked to a series of earthquakes.Brennan Linsley/AP Photo

Bloomberg News: Robert Tuttle: February 9, 2018: 12:59 PM EST

In the Western Alberta town of Fox Creek, roughnecks shuffle through hotel lobbies, freight trucks choke slushy streets and, every once in a while, tremors shake the earth.

Welcome to Canada’s biggest shale boom. Chevron Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Encana Corp., Murphy Oil Corp. and XTO Energy Inc. are among those flocking to Fox Creek to stake their claim in the oil-rich Duvernay shale formation. 

Here, the prize is condensate, an ultra-light oil that’s perfect for diluting the heavy tar-sands crude for which Alberta is known. More locally produced diluent would be a plus for Canadian companies that now depend on the U.S. — and for communities like Fox Creek that are feeling the economic benefits along with fracking-linked earthquakes. More of both may be in the offing as drillers flock in Chevron’s wake into the Duvernay region. read more

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Shell doubles profits but faces multibillion-dollar Dutch quake bill

Damage claims over tremors linked to Dutch gasfields clouds strong earnings for 2017

The Dutch government said this week that an independent commission will rule on thousands of claims from people affected by tremors caused by a gasfield run by NAM, a joint venture owned 50-50 by Shell and ExxonMobil. Van Beurden said: “We are talking about multibillion-dollar potential bill for years to come because these earthquake will continue to occur unfortunately. read more

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Groningen production restrictions to prove costly for Dutch government, says WoodMac

Planned production cuts to the Europe’s largest gas field is to cost the Dutch state-run Enrgie Beheer Nederlands $5billion over the life of the field as well as cause the continent to look elsewhere for supply, according to analysts Wood Mackenzie. Groningen has been a major global asset for operators Shell, ExxonMobil and Energie Beheer Nederlands.

There have been a series of powerful earthquakes in recent years around the Groningen field brought on by gas mining, with a tremor last month registering 3.4 magnitude – the most powerful to hit since 2012.

Yesterday the Staatstoezicht op de Mijnen (SoDM) mining association recommending the Ministry of Economic Affairs imposes an output cap of 12 billion cubic metres (bcm)  annually over the next four years in the interests of safety.

The limit represents an annual cut of nearly half from the last cap of 21.6 bcm, and a drop of around 70% since the first cap was imposed in 2014. read more

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GAS FIRM TO WITHHOLD SHELL, EXXON PROFITS; PROMISES CASH TO EARTHQUAKE-PRONE REGION

By Janene Pieters on January 31, 2018 – 13:40

Dutch gas firm NAM will for the time being not pay profits to its two shareholders – Shell and ExxonMobil, Shell announced in a press release. NAM has 18 billion euros available to compensate for damaged caused by gas extraction related earthquakes in Groningen for the next five years, the Dutch gas firm also announced in a press release.

These two press releases were an attempt to calm unrest caused by the revelation that Shell withdrew its so-called 403 declaration from NAM last year, as Trouw reported on Saturday. This 403 declaration held Shell liable for NAM’s debts. The withdrawal of this declaration, which happened in June last year, raised concerns that Shell is trying to escape its liability for damages caused by fracking earthquakes in Groningen. read more

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Dutch could cut Groningen gas output by a fifth- analysts

Reuters Staff: JANUARY 30, 2018 / 3:58 PM

* The Netherlands is most gas-reliant EU nation

* Groningen gas output already 60 pct below 2013 peak

* Government to cut production as much as possible

* Falling export obligations ease demand pressure

By Bart H. Meijer

AMSTERDAM, Jan 30 (Reuters) – The Netherlands can cut gas output from the Groningen field by roughly a fifth after this month’s tremors but it will need to fill some of the gap with increased imports to meet domestic needs and honour its export contracts, analysts say. read more

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Shell shielded from Forties fallout by ‘internationalisation’, North Sea sales

Written by

Shell is performing “extremely well” at a time when Brent crude is at its highest price for three years, the oil giant’s upcoming fourth quarter results will show.

The Anglo-Dutch major is in its strongest position for many years in terms of its cash generation thanks to its upstream and LNG businesses, analysts said.

RBC Capital Markets anticipates Shell’s fourth-quarter adjusted net income will more than double year-on-year. The company recorded adjusted earnings of £1.3billion in Q4 2016.

Analysts said Shell, whose shares are up about 10% over the last 12 months, had been boosted by the sale of assets and disciplined spending.

The company implemented a £21billion-plus divestment plan following its £47billion mega-merger with BG Group, which was completed in 2016.

As part of that programme, Shell sold about £3billion worth of North Sea assets to Chrysaor in 2017.

RBC analysts said the company would have cashed in £1.1billion in the fourth quarter from the proceeds of UK North Sea sales alone. read more

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MPs angry as Shell distances itself from NAM earthquake claims

There has been furious reaction after energy giant Shell distanced itself from possible claims for earthquake damages in Groningen province made against its subsidiary gas production company NAM.

MPs are calling for an emergency debate to discuss the issue, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Monday.

In addition, farmers in the earthquake-damaged province of Groningen are planning a demonstration Monday evening in Delfzijl, local paper Dagblad van het Noorden said. Farmers claim subsidence harms their crops and threatens their manure stores.

Moreover, many claim NAM does not have the money to settle the escalating claims which are certain to reach billions of euros.

The row was triggered on Saturday when Trouw said Shell was backing away from possible earthquake damages claims made again NAM, an assertion based on Shell Nederland’s annual report published in June 2017. read more

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Dutch gas regulator to publish Groningen recommendation on Feb. 1

AMSTERDAM, Jan 24 (Reuters) – The Dutch gas regulator will publish its recommendation for production at the Groningen gas field on Feb. 1, a spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

Regulator SodM was asked to provide advice on a new production cut after the northern Dutch region was hit by the strongest earthquake in years earlier this month.

Both the regulator and gas production company NAM, a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil , have said that production needs to be cut substantially from the current level of 21.6 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year to limit seismic risks in the region. read more

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Gas field earthquakes put Netherlands’ biggest firms on extraction notice

Extraction from the Groningen field, one of Europe’s richest sources of gas, is operated in a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil, but has been capped in recent years by ministers due to seismic activity in the area. Following a quake two weeks ago which registered at 3.4 on the Richter scale – the second-strongest recorded above the gas fields and the biggest in five years – the country’s minister for economic affairs, Eric Wiebes, put major corporations on notice this week. read more

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Why the Dutch are Missing Out on the Global Natural Gas Glut

The world may never have produced more natural gas, but that’s little comfort for the Dutch government as it seeks to replace flows from Europe’s biggest field.

Lawmakers in the Netherlands on Tuesday will discuss options to supply their pipeline network, which was built around the relatively poor-quality gas from the Groningen deposit. More than a half century of production there triggered earthquakes, forcing the scaling back of output.

Progressive Decline

Annual gas output from the Groningen gas field under new rules read more

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Shell/Exxon (NAM) has delivered an urgent report to the Dutch State Supervision of Mines about the Zeerijp earthquake

TRANSLATED INFORMATION PUBLISHED 11 JAN 2018 IN DUTCH BY NAM

The Zeerijp quake

As a result of the recent earthquake at Zeerijp, NAM delivered a report to the State Supervision of Mines Supervisor (SSM) within 48 hours.
 
The report proposes measures for the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate to ultimately decide on in the context of safety, safety perception and other assessment frameworks. In addition to primary safety, the safety experience of the citizens of Groningen is central to this.

Gerald Schotman emphasized in various interviews to national and regional media that NAM is not concerned about the level of gas production. That is a decision that politics must take. read more

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Further production cut eyed for Groningen after tremor

|By: , SA News Editor

Dutch gas company NAM says it will propose reducing production at the Groningen gas field following an earthquake on Monday that was the largest in recent years.

NAM, a Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) joint venture that operates the Groningen field, says it will propose a shutdown of some production clusters, leading to a lower production volume overall.

The Dutch government has cut gas production several times in recent years from 39.4B cm in 2015-16, as decades of gas extraction have led to dozens of earthquakes every year in the Groningen region; the new government already agreed to cut output to ~20B cm by 2021 from a current 21.6B cm. read more

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Shell is fully committed to oil and gas from shale says Financieele Dagblad

Printed below is an English translation of an article published by the Dutch equivalent of the Financial Times, Financieele Dagblad under the headline “Shell is fully committed to oil and gas from shale“.

By Bert van Dijk  Energy Editor

Shale gas and shale oil may then have a negative sound in Europe and hardly play a role, governments in the US, Canada, China and Argentina do see a lot of it. Shell hopes to benefit from this favorable investment climate in the coming years, especially now that the company has drastically reduced the costs of extracting shale gas and oil in recent years. read more

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Magnitude 3.4 tremor at Groningen gas field 

AMSTERDAM, Jan 8 (Reuters) – The Dutch minister for the economy said on Monday that output at the large Groningen gas field should be reduced “by as much as possible” during the current government term through 2021.

Eric Wiebes made the comment following a magnitude 3.4 tremor earlier on Monday that was the largest in recent years.

Dozens of earthquakes every year, resulting from decades of gas extraction, have caused damage to thousands of buildings and homes and prompted a dramatic shift in government policy now aimed at capping output. read more

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UPDATE 2-Dutch court rejects government’s Groningen gas production plan

Wednesday’s decision was met with jubilation from Groningen citizens, many of whom have seen their houses damaged by the thousands of small earthquakes triggered by the gas extraction.

By Bart H. Meijer: NOVEMBER 15, 2017

THE HAGUE, Nov 15 (Reuters) – The highest Dutch administrative court has rejected the government’s plan to cap production at a major gas field that has caused damaging earthquakes, saying it might be possible to cut output further without endangering supplies.

The decision adds another chapter to the long fight over gas production in the northern Dutch province of Groningen, where citizens accuse the government of endangering their lives while protecting gas revenues. read more

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Government’s Groningen gas production plan rejected by advisory council

Nov. 15, 2017 7:55 AM ET|By: , SA News Editor The Netherlands’ top administrative court rejects the government’s plan to cap production at the Groningen gas field and orders a new decision on how much gas can be extracted from the field where drilling has triggered minor earthquakes. The government had proposed capping production at 21.6B cm/year over the next five years, down from 24B cm in the production year just ended and 39.4B cm in 2015-16; the court orders the government to review its decision within the next 12 months, but production may be maintained at 21.6B cm for the year through Oct. 1, 2018. NAM, the joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) that operates the Groningen field, says it is studying the ruling.

SOURCE

RELATED

DutchNews.nl: Gas group NAM says more serious earthquakes will hit Groningen: 1 October 2014

EnergyVoice.com: Quakes force Dutch lawmakers to cut gas production: 11 March 2015

Bloomberg: Dutch Quakes Toss Wrench Into Gears of Europe Gas Market: 10 March 2015

Devastating report of a scary scenario: 07 March 2015

Dutch government says sorry for quakes caused by Groningen gas field: 02 March 2015

Reuters: Bells toll for Europe’s largest gas field: 02 March 2015

Groningen Gas Field Shock: Risk of earthquakes at 4.6 on the Richter scale: 24 Feb 2015 read more

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Shell ‘less concerned’ about Groningen natural gas quota impact than production safety: CFO

London (Platts)–2 Nov 2017 958 am EDT/1358 GMT

Anglo-Dutch major Shell is willing to take a financial hit on production from the giant Groningen gas field in the Netherlands to ensure that output can be achieved safely, company CFO Jessica Uhl said Thursday.

Speaking to reporters after it published its Q3 earnings, Uhl said Shell — which has a 50% stake in Groningen operator NAM — is focusing on safe production from the field.

“We are working with our partners and with the [Dutch] government to ensure we operate safely — that’s the priority,” Uhl said. read more

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The Abrupt Demise Of Dutch Gas

The phenomenon is no novelty, with 80 000 damage claims totaling €1.2 billion having been filed with the government and NAM, the operator of the Groningen field, a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil.

By Viktor Katona – Jul 20, 2017, 3:00 PM CDT

The largest and oldest-producing gas field in Western Europe, the Groningen field, is on the verge of being shut down.

If that happens, it will entail the tumbling of Netherlands’ indigenous gas production, making it a net gas importer. This is a bitter pill to swallow for producers in the Netherlands, EU’s leading gas producer up to now, given that the Dutch led the world in the 1970s in natural gas exports volumes (the ramp-up in exports was so massive that the Dutch government implemented export caps to put some freeze on it). For Dutch locals, however, this might represent a long-awaited victory and a sign that governments can pay heed to their concerns, if sufficient pressure is applied. It remains to be seen whether an abrupt end to gas production in the Netherlands is in anybody’s interest. read more

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How Europe’s Monster Gas Field Turned Into a Monster Headache

By Kelly Gilblom and Fred Pals: 13 July 2017

Judge to consider demands to close Europe’s largest gas field

Groningen has contributed almost 300 billion euros to budget

What was once a blessing is now an expensive curse

Officials are also considering criminal charges against NAM executives

Ebe Treffers’s dog was antsy for hours before the boom sounded and the house began to shake, scattering dishes across the kitchen floor.

Like other residents of the Groningen region near The Netherlands’ North Sea coast, the retired art teacher was used to the subtle tremors caused by decades of extraction at Europe’s largest gas field. But nobody was prepared for the magnitude 3.6 earthquake that struck after dark on Aug. 16, 2012, assured by both state and project officials that there was nothing to fear. read more

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Critics argue for Groningen shutdown at Dutch court hearing

Jul. 13, 2017 2:59 PM ET|By: , SA News Editor

Angry Dutch residents living near the huge Groningen gas field told a hearing today at the Netherlands’ highest court that production should be totally stopped, accusing oil companies of causing minor earthquakes and the government of lying.

The Council of State is holding two days of hearings to consider appeals against a government plan to cut production at the field by an additional 10% starting Oct. 1.

Gas production company NAM, a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), has accepted responsibility for damage caused by the quakes, for which it is paying more than €1B. read more

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Dutch court hearing pits Big Oil against Groningen locals

Bart H. Meijer: JULY 13, 2017 / 12:59 PM

THE HAGUE, July 13 (Reuters) – Angry Dutch residents living near the huge Groningen gas field demanded a total halt to production, accusing oil giants of causing house-damaging earth tremors and the government of lying at a hearing in the Netherlands’ highest court on Thursday.

Two days of proceedings at the Council of State is considering appeals against a government plan to curb production at the massive field by an additional 10 percent from Oct. 1. read more

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Eventual Groningen shutdown can’t be ruled out, hitting Exxon, analyst says

Jul. 5, 2017 11:40 AM ET|About: Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM)|By: , SA News Editor

Exxon Mobil’s (XOM -1.4%) organic growth could be hurt by problems at the Groningen gas field it shares with Royal Dutch Shell, as production caps caused by rising earthquakes in the region eventually could even lead to a total shutdown, says Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov.

“An eventual field shutdown, which cannot be ruled out, would erase nearly all of Exxon’s organic growth through 2020,” Molchanov writes, seeing little chance that the top Dutch administrative court will grant the oil companies’ appeal against the most recent strict cuts. read more

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ExxonMobil/Shell: Haven’t Heard of Groningen? You Might Want to Read This

One team of analyst contends Exxon’s organic growth could be hurt by problems at its Groningen gas field.

By Ben Levisohn: 

ExxonMobil (XOM) has enough problems with the price of oil dropping, but it may have on in a large Dutch gas field known as Groningen.

Exxon runs the field with Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A), which is being blamed for an increase in the number of earthquakes in the region. That’s led to caps being imposed on production, and could eventually lead to a shutdown altogether say Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov and Muhammed Ghulam. They look ahead to the Groningen endgame: read more

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Shell, Exxon to appeal latest Groningen gas production cap

Shell, Exxon to appeal latest Groningen gas production cap

AMSTERDAM, June 28 (Reuters) – A joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil said on Wednesday it will file an appeal against a Dutch government plan to lower a production cap at the Groningen natural gas field by a further 10 percent.

The 50-50 Exxon-Shell joint venture, known as NAM, said it has been left in an impossible position by being told it may continue production — vital to supply homes with gas — without guarantees it is meeting safety standards. It also opposes the latest, lowered production cap. read more

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Dutch Quakes Rattle Exxon, Shell — WSJ

Big gas field is causing tremors, exposing energy firms to criminal probe and rising bills

By Sarah Kent Dow Jones Newswires

GRONINGEN, The Netherlands — For decades, the giant Groningen gas field beneath the flat, green farmland in the north of this country counted among the greatest prizes for Exxon Mobil Corp. and Royal Dutch Shell PLC. Then the earthquakes started.

Shell and Exxon are pushing back through their joint venture, Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij BV or NAM.

NAM said it is considering formally contesting the government’s decision. It also expressed surprise at the Dutch court order to the prosecutor to open a criminal investigation this year… read more

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Quakes Giving Dutch Province ‘A Makeover We Don’t Want’

Quakes Giving Dutch Province ‘A Makeover We Don’t Want’

By Sarah Kent Dow Jones Newswires

GRONINGEN, The Netherlands — Irma de Joode was talking on the phone with her brother when she heard what sounded like rolls of thunder and felt her entire house jump beneath her feet. The Aug. 16, 2012, earthquake was the biggest ever to rock the flat, green plains of this northern Dutch province. The source was Europe’s biggest natural gas field. The earthquake was one of more than 300 temblors since 1991 that Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Exxon Mobil Corp. and the Dutch government acknowledge were caused by their activities at the Groningen gas field. read more

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Big payout for Shell and ExxonMobil from NAM holding

Big payout for Shell and ExxonMobil from NAM holding

NAM has €3.4bn earmarked for provisions on its balance sheet. A small portion of this, 15% or €495m, is reserved for claims made against the company for earthquake damage.

June 2, 2017

Shell and ExxonMobil, the two shareholders in Dutch gas production company NAM, split €496m in dividend payments in 2016. This was revealed in NAM’s first-ever published annual report on Friday, the Financieele Dagblad said. This marked the first time that it was made clear just how much the two oil giants earn from gas production in the Netherlands. NAM reported net revenues of €3.4bn in 2016.

But NAM released no comparable profit and sales figures for previous years. NAM’s profit is determined after a payment of about €3bn to the Dutch government. read more

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Shell, Exxon may appeal over planned Groningen gas output cut

Shell, Exxon may appeal over planned Groningen gas output cut

AMSTERDAM, May 24 (Reuters) – A joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil said on Wednesday it was considering appealing against a Dutch government plan to cut production at the Groningen gas field by 10 percent.

The Dutch state earlier on Wednesday confirmed it intended to go ahead with a tightening of output at the massive field from Oct. 1. It said interested parties had until July 7 to announce an appeal.

The 50-50 Shell-Exxon joint venture known as NAM, said in a reaction that the measure was “disproportionate” and ignored previously agreed safety norms, which do not call for such a large reduction. read more

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How Earthquakes Might Be Crimes in Netherlands

Can a natural disaster be a crime? That’s the question in The Netherlands, where an investigation has been ordered into whether Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Exxon Mobil Corp. are criminally responsible for earthquakes triggered by production at Europe’s largest natural gas field, Groningen. Some of the earthquakes have been strong enough to damage homes in nearby farming communities. Though Groningen is a mainstay of the Dutch budget, its output is gradually decreasing to protect residents. read more

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Court orders Shell-Exxon criminal probe over Dutch gas quakes

Court orders Shell-Exxon criminal probe over Dutch gas quakes

By Toby Sterling

AMSTERDAM, April 20 (Reuters) – A Dutch court ordered prosecutors to open an investigation on Thursday into whether a Shell-Exxon joint venture bears any criminal responsibility for earthquakes triggered by production at the country’s largest gas field.

No physical injuries have been caused by numerous small quakes, which have damaged thousands of buildings and structures across the north-eastern province of Groningen, and prosecutors had previously declined to act, arguing it was a civil matter. read more

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Dutch to cut Groningen gas production to lower earthquake risk

Apr. 18, 2017 12:56 PM ET|By: , SA News Editor

The Netherlands will cut production of its Groningen gas field by 10% beginning in October to limit the risk of earthquakes, the country’s economy minister says.

Production would be reduced to 21.6B cm/year from 24B cm/year as a first step, according to the minister; output has been cut several times from 53.9B cm in 2013 as criticism mounted the Dutch government had failed to adequately assess the risk from earthquakes caused by production at Europe’s biggest field.

Groningen is operated by a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM). read more

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Dutch court hit with 25 appeals against Groningen production cap

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Written by Reporter – 18/11/2016 

A Dutch court has received 25 appeals against the government’s decision to cap production at the Groningen gas field to an annual figure of 24 billion cubic metres from protesters who do not think it goes far enough.

A number of groups in the region asked for a steeper reduction to prevent earthquakes, which have damaged thousands of structures in the northern province.

Groningen used to supply 10% of demand in the European Union.

But it has halved in the past two years after the Dutch Safety Board said the government was failing to protect citizens from earthquakes triggered by gas exploitation. read more

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Dutch groups demand tighter curbs on Groningen gas production

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screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-19-09-24A top Dutch court has received 25 appeals against the government’s decision to cap production at the Groningen gas field at an annual figure of 24 billion cubic metres from protesters who think it does not go far enough.

Several groups in the region had asked for a steeper reduction to prevent earthquakes, which have damaged thousands of structures in the northern province.

Output from Groningen, which once supplied 10 percent of demand in the European Union, has halved over the past two years after the Dutch Safety Board said the government was failing to protect citizens from earthquakes triggered by gas exploitation. read more

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Dutch government confirms cut in Groningen gas output

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Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 08.40.08By REUTERSPUBLISHED: 23 September 2016

AMSTERDAM, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Gas extraction from the northern Groningen gas field will be held at 24 billion cubic metres per year for the coming five years, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Friday.

The decision made on Friday by Rutte’s government cemented a preliminary plan to cut output to minimise the risk of earthquakes resulting from production at Groningen, which once supplied 10 percent of the gas used in the European Union. read more

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Dutch parliament orders annual check on Groningen gas production

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Thu Sep 15, 2016 4:51pm BST

The Dutch parliament adopted a motion on Thursday ordering the government to evaluate every year whether gas production at the country’s Groningen field can be reduced further.

Output from Groningen, Europe’s largest gas field, has halved over the past two years after the country’s Safety Board said the government was failing to protect citizens from earthquakes triggered by gas exploitation.

In June, the government capped production at 24 billion cubic meters (bcm) annually for the coming five years but the motion adopted Thursday opens the door to further reductions. read more

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Groningen gas demand seen falling sharply

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Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 08.40.08Groningen gas demand seen falling sharply

The Netherlands has been forced to scale back production at Groningen, which once supplied 10% of European Union gas requirements, to 24B cm/year due to damage from earthquakes.

Sep 13 2016, 08:31 ET | By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor

Demand for gas from the Groningen field in the Netherlands will fall sharply from 2020 as production is reduced, Economy Minister Kamp says in a letter to the Dutch parliament.

The Netherlands has been forced to scale back production at Groningen, which once supplied 10% of European Union gas requirements, to 24B cm/year due to damage from earthquakes.

Groningen is operated by a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM). read more

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Dutch see demand for Groningen gas down sharply from 2020

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Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 08.40.08Demand for gas from Groningen will “fall sharply from 2020” as production at the northern Dutch field is reduced, Economy Minister Henk Kamp said in a letter to parliament released on Tuesday.

The Netherlands has been forced to scale back production by roughly half at Groningen, which once met 10 percent of European Union gas requirements, to 24 billion cubic meters per year due to damage from earthquakes.

Citing a June study by Gasunie, Kamp said a 480 million euros gas conversion facility in Zuidbroek was no longer needed due to falling exports. read more

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Shell and ExxonMobil apologise for Groningen earthquake problems

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Officials made the comments during a parliamentary hearing with Shell and ExxonMobil executives after being challenged by GroenLinks MP Liesbeth van Tongeren, broadcaster NOS reported.

‘We acknowledge that the people of Groningen are dealing with most of the problems caused by gas extraction, which we in the Netherlands can thank for our prosperity,’ Shell Nederland president Marjan van Loon said.

‘That is why the people of Groningen deserve our support. The NAM has expressed its regrets and I can fully support that. So I can say too, “I’m sorry, sorry”.’ read more

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Oklahoma earthquake: 37 wells ordered to shut down after scientists’ warning

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Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 16.52.01Samuel Osborne: Sunday 4 Sept 2016

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake in Oklahoma has brought fresh attention to the practice of disposing oil and gas field wastewater deep underground.

The United States Geological Survey said the quake happened at 7.02am on Saturday, in north-central Oklahoma, on the fringe of an area where regulators had stepped in to limit wastewater disposal. 

The shallow quake struck 9 miles northwst of Pawnee, where there were no immediate reports of injuries. Damage in the town appeared to be minor.

An increase in magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes in Oklahoma has been linked to underground disposal of wastewater from oil and natural gas production. read more

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SHELL CEO: REINVEST NATURAL GAS REVENUES IN RENEWABLE ENERGY

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Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 08.40.08Posted on Sep 1, 2016 by Janene Pieters

Marjan van Loon, CEO of Shell Nederland, wants to use natural gas revenues from Groningen for a “delta plan” for the transition to green energy and for the local economy, she said in an Interview with the Financieele Dagblad. Though she adds that the Netherlands must continue gas extraction for as long as possible.

According to Van Loon, the Netherlands can still earn billions of euros with the Groningen gas fields, but only if support from Groningen residents and safety are made priorities. Shell has a 50 percent share in NAM, which is responsible for gas extraction in Groningen. read more

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Einstein Never Knew He’d Help Shell Discover Oil

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By Eric Roston: July 7, 2016

Albert Einstein suggested a century ago that large-scale cosmic violence—two black holes colliding, for example—might send gravitational ripples through the universe like a stone disturbing the surface of a pond. In September physicists in the U.S. conclusively detected gravitational waves for the first time, again proving Einstein right. While it’s a safe assumption he wasn’t thinking about how building a wave observatory might lead to finding oil and gas, two physicists in Amsterdam have started a company betting they can. read more

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Dutch government lowers Groningen gas output cap to 24 bcm

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Reuters: Friday, June 24, 2016

THE HAGUE, June 24 The Dutch government said on Friday it would lower the cap on production at the Groningen gas field, which has supplied up to 10 percent of European demand, to 24 billion cubic metres a year for the next five years.

The decision to lower the ceiling from 27 bcm, beginning on Oct. 1, follows a recommendation by the Dutch National Mines Inspectorate.

The Dutch government has been steadily reducing output at Groningen, prompted by a spate of earthquakes linked to production that caused extensive property damage in the northern province. read more

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Dutch Winter Gas Rises to Six-Month High Before Output Decision

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Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 10.28.33Netherlands may decide on Groningen field production on Friday

By Rob VerdonckFred Pals: June 22, 2016 – 11:17 AM BST

Dutch natural gas advanced to the highest since December before a government decision on production from Europe’s biggest field expected on Friday.

The winter contract, for the six months from October, gained as much as 5.1 percent, according to broker data compiled by Bloomberg. Dutch Economy Minister Henk Kamp expects the government to decide on output from the Groningen field on Friday, the ANP news agency reported late Tuesday after De Telegraaf newspaper said gas extraction linked to earthquakes would be curbed by another 11 percent. read more

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Dutch agency calls for further cut in Groningen gas production

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 10.29.52The agency declined to comment.

The Cabinet is expected to announce its production plans for the field for the period after Oct. 1, 2016 on Friday, after several cuts in the past year have left it at the rate of 27 bcm on an annualized basis.

The final decision will be based on the recommendations from the agency, Groningen’s operator NAM, a joint venture of Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon, and six other parties.

A majority of lawmakers Dutch parliament have called for production to be cut as far as possible to reduce earthquakes in the northern province caused by the gas extraction. read more

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Dutch Take On Gazprom in Battle Over Europe’s Oil-Linked Gas

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Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 10.52.28The legal action coincides with government curbs on output after earthquakes in the Netherlands…

By Kelly Gilblom: May 18, 2016

In its new role as a natural gas importer, the Netherlands wants to make sure it doesn’t overpay.

GasTerra BV, the nation’s biggest buyer and seller of gas, initiated arbitration against Gazprom PJSC’s export unit, the Russian company said Monday. It is seeking a price review for fuel purchased from Europe’s largest supplier under a long-term contract linked to oil, which has rallied this year as the price on gas hubs extended declines.

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The legal action coincides with government curbs on output after earthquakes in the Netherlands, home to the European Union’s largest gas field, which turned it into a net importer of the fuel. Utilities from Germany’s RWE AG to Turkey’s Botas Boru Hatlari Ile Petrol Tasima AS filed arbitration claims against Gazprom PJSC’s export unit after market prices fell below contract rates, with EON SE and Engie SA settling cases with Europe’s biggest gas supplier this year. read more

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Shell and Exxon secured ‘secret deal’ on Groningen gas production

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Friday 13 May 2016

Oil companies Shell and Exxon held secret talks with the economic affairs ministry in 2005 to set levels of production in the Groningen gas field up to and beyond 2020, according to documents obtained by NOS.

The documents show that the two companies exerted pressure on the ministry not to scale back gas extraction despite increasing concern over the increased frequency of earthquakes in the region.

The Dutch parliament was informed of the talks, which took place in 2005, but only knew of an agreement to set production levels for the next 10 years. The documents obtained under freedom of information legislation show that the deal also covered the years up to 2020, when the gas field is expected to go into decline, and afterwards. read more

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SHELL ACCUSED OF BLACKMAILING GRONINGEN ON EARTHQUAKE SAFETY, REPAIRS

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by Janene Pieters: 25 April 2016Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 20.31.49

A lobbying document Shell caused some serious irritation among Dutch parliamentarians. The oil and gas giant writes that the reduction in gas extraction in Groningen threatens the “economic base” of the plan to strengthen homes in the earthquake zone. Unacceptable blackmail, according to SP province director Eelco Eikenaar.

Shell lobbyists visited a number of parliamentarians over the past weeks, according to the Financieele Dagblad. The company is trying to convince parliament not to further reduce gas extraction in Groningen, otherwise there will be no money for reinforcing buildings in the province. Gas extraction in the earthquake prone province is currently capped at 27 billion cubic meters a year, but there are parties who want to reduce it further. read more

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Update from NAM on Shell/Exxon induced Dutch Earthquakes

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By John Donovan: 19 April 2016

Printed below in italics is a Google translation of information published in Dutch today by NAM, the Shell/Exxon Joint Venture company.

It is about the earthquakes inadvertently generated by NAM gas production activity in and around the Groningen Gas field in the Netherlands.

The damage arising from the earthquakes, which are expected to increase in intensity, will cost untold billions to deal with.

Maintaining current production level of 27 billion m3

On April 19th NAM published its proposal for future gas production from the Groningen gas field. It is the first step in a stepwise decision-making process that should lead before October 1, 2016 to a final government decision on gas production from the Groningen gas field. Given the complexity and societal concern about the earthquake record, the Minister of Economic Affairs has decided on extensive consultation with authorities, experts and residents for gas production decision. read more

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Man-made earthquakes put millions at risk, report says

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Doyle Rice, USA TODAY: 28 MARCH 2016

If you live in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and Arkansas beware: You are nearly as likely to experience an earthquake as high-hazard areas such as California, but the risk is man-made.

That’s the conclusion in a first-ever report made public Monday from the U.S. Geological Survey, which cites the oil and gas drilling process as triggering the quakes.  The assessment of human-induced seismic shaking found 7 million people in the central and eastern U.S. live in the man-made earthquake zone,  said Mark Petersen, head of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Mapping Project. read more

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