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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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”.’

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Update from NAM on Shell/Exxon induced Dutch Earthquakes

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 20.31.49Update from NAM on Shell/Exxon induced Dutch Earthquakes

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.

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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.

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Oklahoma Puts Limits on Oil and Gas Wells to Fight Quakes

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By MICHAEL WINESA version of this article appears in print on March 8, 2016

Facing a six-year barrage of increasingly large earthquakes, Oklahoma regulators are effectively ordering the state’s powerful oil-and-gas industry to substantially cut back the underground disposal of industry wastes that have caused the tremors across the state.

On Monday, the state Corporation Commission asked well operators in a Connecticut-size patch of central Oklahoma to reduce by 40 percent the amount of oil and gas wastes they are injecting deep into the earth. The directive covers 411 injection wells in a rough circle that includes Oklahoma City and points northeast.

It follows a February request that imposed a 40 percent cutback on injection wells in a similar-size region of northwest Oklahoma.

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Shell/Exxon NAM JV Simulated Groningen Gas Field Earthquakes

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 08.18.20Shell/Exxon NAM JV Simulated Groningen Gas Field Earthquakes

By John Donovan

EUcentre, the Italian research institute is carrying out simulated earthquake vibration tests on a house built in Italy to resemble a workers house in the province of Groningen in the Netherlands.

The test property is exposed to vibration similar to the vibration from an earthquake. This allows the EU centre to examine how the house behaves during an earthquake.

The researchers carry out the vibration intensity, also called ground acceleration, up until the time that the structure is no longer stable. It is claimed that the strength of the vibration is much heavier than earthquakes that have occurred thus far in Groningen.

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NAM, the Dutch Gas joint venture by Shell and Exxon investigate impact of earthquakes triggered by Groningen Gas Field activity

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 16.31.41By John Donovan

Rough translation of a Dutch article published 18 February 2015 by NAMplatform

NAM asks your opinion on safety and damage in Groningen

What are the social impacts of earthquakes in the region over the Groningen gas field? NAM commissioned a survey by Royal Haskoning DHV, who recorded their findings in a report.

NAM would like to present these findings to residents in the region to better connect with the wishes and needs of residents.

The inventory of the social impact of earthquakes with eight different themes addressed, including the themes of loss and safety.

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Gas Field quakes hit Dutch dykes

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Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 08.13.11Senay Boztas AMSTERDAM: 22 Nov 2015: Sunday Times

THE Dutch are being forced to earthquake-proof their dykes after a spate of tremors blamed on the effects of extracting gas from the vast field running beneath the country.

Although Holland lies far from any big geological fault lines, half a century of exploitation of the Groningen field – Europe’s largest – is blamed for causing about 50 earthquakes a year.

The government is considering how much it should reduce lucrative gas production, which has been a mainstay of the Dutch economy throughout the financial crisis.

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Safety risks prompt Dutch court to order cuts at Groningen gas field

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Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 09.13.40Sectors | Wed Nov 18, 2015 4:33pm IST

By Anthony Deutsch and Toby Sterling

A Dutch court on Wednesday ordered more cuts in gas production at Groningen, Europe’s largest gas field, saying the government had given too little consideration to the stronger and more frequent earthquakes extraction had caused.

Output at the field, the world’s 10th largest, will now be capped at 27 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year from 33 bcm, the court said, adding that the government had failed to sufficiently weigh public safety risks.

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Exxon’s Dutch Gas Gag

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Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 09.13.40Liam Denning: November 18, 2015

If you’ve never been to Groningen, it’s a pleasant college town in the northern Netherlands. It also happens to share its name with one of the world’s largest natural gas fields. Tourists are best advised to focus on the scenic bicycling routes. Exxon Mobil is more attuned to what lies beneath.

The region around Groningen has a problem that is becoming familiar in places like Oklahoma: earthquakes brought on by gas production. On Wednesday, a Dutch court ruled that the production cap on the giant field should be reduced temporarily by another 18 percent, to about 950 billion cubic feet for the year that started October 1. Altogether, the cap has been cut by about a third since 2014.

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Dutch court orders more cuts in gas production

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Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 09.13.40Wednesday 18 November 2015

[JURIST] The Dutch Council of State [official website, in Dutch] on Wednesday ordered [judgment, in Dutch; press release, in Dutch] more cuts in gas production. The court came to this decision after stronger and more frequent earthquakes occurred in the Netherlands as a result of extraction. The Groningen [BBC backgrounder], the field in question, will be capped at 22 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year from 33 bcm, due to the government’s failure to weight public safety risks after earthquakes caused extensive damage in the Netherlands’ northernmost province. Due to the Groningen supplying 15 percent of Europe’s gas, the Court ruled [Reuters report] “should it turn out to be a relatively cold year, the maximum gas extraction can be raised to 33 billion cubic metres.” The government has twice this year reduced production from its original target of 39.4 bcm. The ruling applies to all production through October 2016.

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Dutch Court to Rule on Gas Output From Europe’s Biggest Field

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Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 09.13.40Anna Shiryaevskaya, Fred Pals and Kelly Gilblom: 18 November 2015: Bloomberg.com

  • Final ruling Wednesday on output from EU’s biggest gas field

  • Government plans to decide on future production in December

A Dutch court will Wednesday decide on the future of Europe’s largest natural gas field as local residents seek to stop tremor-inducing production that’s damaging their houses.

The Council of State will rule on whether production from the Groningen gas field should be limited after in September hearing appeals from about 40 individuals, housing corporations and environmental groups. That comes before the government plans to next month outline future output at the field, which generated about 10.7 billion euros ($11.4 billion) in revenue last year and also supplies Germany, Belgium and France.

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Oklahoma world’s No. 1 earthquake area

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Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 23.06.27…it’s an oil and gas issue as well…

Jessica Miller | Enid News & Eagle | Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015

ENID, Okla. — Oklahoma is now the No. 1 earthquake area in the world, an Oklahoma Corporation Commission spokesman said Monday.

Spokesman Matt Skinner said the state is unique in terms of frequency.

“We have had 15 (earthquakes) in Medford since 5 o’clock Saturday morning,” he noted. “We’ve got an earthquake issue.”

Skinner said the world is going through a seismic phase.

“Oklahoma is absolutely unique in terms of the number of earthquakes we’ve had,” he said.

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New Concern Over Quakes in Oklahoma Near a Hub of U.S. Oil

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Screen Shot 2015-10-15 at 10.41.53By MICHAEL WINESOCT. 14, 2015

A sharp earthquake in central Oklahoma last weekend has raised fresh concern about the security of a vast crude oil storage complex, close to the quake’s center, that sits at the crossroads of the nation’s oil pipeline network.

The magnitude 4.5 quake struck Saturday afternoon about three miles northwest of Cushing, roughly midway between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. The town of about 8,000 people is home to the so-called Cushing Hub, a sprawling tank farm that is among the largest oil storage facilities in the world.

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Shell and Exxon’s €5bn problem: gas drilling that sets off earthquakes and wrecks homes

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Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 17.11.17Groningen has been one of Europe’s richest gas fields for 30 years, and thousands of people say their homes have been damaged by the tremors that drilling sets off. Now a class action may finally bring them compensation – and force a rethink of European energy security

Highlights from an article by Lucas Amin Published Saturday, 10 October 2015

A life-threatening earthquake reaching magnitude 4 or 5 on the Richter scale is possible and could strike at any moment.  

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Shell/Exxon NAM JV cuts 2000 jobs due to low oil price and liability for Dutch earthquakes

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Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 14.32.29“Thousands of buildings have been damaged in earthquakes caused by the ground settling after the gas has been removed. ‘NAM has continued to drill in Groningen even though it is well aware of the risks, and has put dozens of lives in danger…”

By John Donovan: Saturday 19 Sept 2015

A spokesperson for the Dutch Petroleum Company (NAM) – a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil – confirmed earlier today that the Company is cutting 2,000 jobs.

The downsizing results from the collapse in oil and gas prices and concern over massive multi-billion dollar liability arising from the NAM induced earthquakes in Holland arising from gas extraction at the Groningen field. 

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Top lawyer takes on NAM over Groningen quake dangers

High profile lawyer Gerard Spong has made a formal complaint against gas extraction company NAM, saying he holds it responsible for deliberately damaging houses and other property in Groningen province.

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Groningen gas production challenged in Dutch court

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Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 14.32.29THE HAGUE, SEPT 10 | BY TOBY STERLING

(Reuters) – A Dutch high court on Thursday began hearing complaints from groups seeking to reduce or stop gas production at the Groningen gas field, Europe’s largest, to reduce the danger of earthquakes.

No date has been set for a ruling by the Council of State, but a court official said it would likely come in late autumn.

Work at Groningen has become increasingly controversial as earthquakes linked to it have become more intense, causing billions of euros of damage to buildings.

No physical injuries have been reported from the quakes, the largest of which was 3.6 on the Richter scale, but the country’s Safety Board in February determined that the government had systematically underestimated the danger to citizens.

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Riled Locals Fight Output From Europe’s Largest Gas Field

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Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 14.32.29Groningen gas field produces 61 percent of Dutch fuel

Complainants say gas extraction has caused earthquakes

By Kelly Gilblom: BLOOMBERG.COM: Sept 10, 2015

A Dutch court is set to hear arguments that production from Europe’s largest natural gas field should be suspended because of earthquakes linked to extraction.

The Netherlands has progressively cut the amount of gas won from the Groningen field in the north amid protests over the tremors, with the Economy Ministry in June slashing this year’s output cap by 29 percent. The Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State will hear about 40 appeals from local political parties, environmental organizations and individuals against production from the area on Thursday, and possibly Friday, before making a final ruling in October or November.

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SHELL AND EXXON TO COMPENSATE DUTCH EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS

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By: MICHEAL KAUFMANSep 3, 2015

A Dutch court has ruled that Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschaapij BV (NAM), a joint venture of Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A), must compensate those affected by the earthquakes near the Groningen gas field, one of the biggest natural gas reserves in the world.

The Dutch court found NAM responsible for earthquakes in the region. Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported industry experts as saying that the pumping of the field has deflated the gas reservoir below the surface, causing pressure build-ups and sudden jolts in the area.

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Shell, Exxon Ordered to Pay Groningen Earthquake Compensation

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Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 14.32.29By MAARTEN VAN TARTWIJK: Sept. 2, 2015 

AMSTERDAM—A Dutch court ruled Wednesday that Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Exxon Mobil Corp must compensate homeowners for a drop in house prices caused by earthquakes linked to production at the Groningen gas field.

The ruling could open the door to a wave of compensation claims against the energy companies, which operate the field through a joint-venture called the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij BV, or NAM.

FULL ARTICLE

RELATED SEEKING ALPHA ARTICLE

Shell, Exxon ordered to pay Groningen earthquake compensation

Sep 2 2015, 12:33 ET | By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor

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Dutch Court Says Gas Producer Must Compensate Homeowners in Quake Zone

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Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 14.32.29By REUTERS SEPT. 2, 2015

AMSTERDAM — A court in the Netherlands ruled on Wednesday that a natural gas company, a joint venture by Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil, must compensate homeowners for declines in the value of their properties because of earthquakes linked to production at the Groningen field.

The ruling by the court in Assen could result in billions of euros of claims against the venture, known as NAM. Hundreds of thousands of homes and buildings lie in the affected area, which covers wide parts of the northern Netherlands.

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Exxon Mobil Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell Dealt A Blow As Dutch Govt. Cuts Groningen Production

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Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 21.03.05Exxon Mobil Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell Dealt A Blow As Dutch Govt. Cuts Groningen Production

The Dutch government has decided to cut production from its Groningen gas field after a series of earthquakes led to heightened safety concerns

By: MICHEAL KAUFMANPublished: Jun 24, 2015

Responding to a series of earthquakes in the northern parts of Netherlands, the Dutch government has decided to slash the gas production at the gas field in Groningen, according to Reuters.

Production at Holland’s Groningen oil field, the biggest of its kind in Europe, will be restricted to 30 billion cubic metres (bcm) for the calendar year 2015, according to the country’s Economy Minister, Henk Kamp. The government had previously planned production of 39.4 bcm during the current year.

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Dutch government cuts Groningen gas field production

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Dutch government cuts Groningen gas field production

By Carl Surran: 23 June 2015

  • The Dutch government has ordered a further tightening of production at Groningen, Europe’s largest gas field, in response to earthquakes that have caused extensive property damage in the Netherlands’ northernmost province.
  • Production at the field will be capped at 13.5B cm in H2 of this year and at 30B cm for all of 2015, after output was cut to 16.B cm for H1 which made for an annualized rate of 33B cm, down from 39.4B cm previously.
  • The Groningen field is operated by a joint venture including Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B), Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and the Dutch government.

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Groningen Gas Production Cut Due to Earthquakes

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Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 21.03.05Article by Isis Almeida published 5 June 2015 by Bloomberg.com

A proposed reduction in natural gas output at Groningen in the Netherlands, Europe’s biggest field, will probably be limited by the nation’s ability to convert imported fuel into the right quality for domestic use, GasTerra BV said.

Groningen production needs to be about 33 billion cubic meters a year during a cold winter, given the nation’s ability to transform imported high-calorific gas into low-calorific fuel used by Dutch households, according to Chief Executive Officer Gertjan Lankhorst. The company is the sole marketer of the field’s output.

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Dutch Court to Review Gas Output in Part of Groningen Field

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Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 08.30.55By Isis Almeida and Elco Van Groningen: Published 21 May 2015 by Bloomberg.com

A Dutch court will review natural gas production at a cluster of the Groningen field, Europe’s biggest, after earthquakes linked to extraction damaged buildings in the Netherlands’ most northern province.

The Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State will review production at the Eemskanaal cluster before June, judge Peter van Buuren said at a hearing in The Hague Thursday. A request to suspend extraction in the area, which accounted for 5 percent of production from the Groningen field in the first four months of 2015, had been rejected on April 14.

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Shell’s Shocking Share of the Groningen Earthquake Costs

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Shell’s Shocking Share of the Groningen Earthquake Costs

By a Regular Contributor

The Dutch government does not seem to be very pleased with Shell: it’s action to reverse the burden of proof in Groningen cases seems to imply that Shell cannot be trusted…

For each of the 250,000 potential claimants to take Shell to court individually and give Shell the opportunity to drag things out, produce dubious experts, and essentially bankrupt everyone before they can obtain redress would also create a legal nightmare (out of which Shell would probably emerge essentially unscathed) 

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Dutch parliament reverses burden of proof in gas damage claims

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AMSTERDAM | BY TOBY STERLING:Tuesday 28 April 2015

Dutch parliament reverses burden of proof in gas damage claims

(Reuters) – The Dutch parliament on Tuesday voted to reverse the burden of proof in disputes over damages to buildings caused by the production of gas at Groningen, Europe’s largest natural gas field, a potentially expensive decision.

Estimates of damage to buildings in Groningen by earthquakes caused by gas production range from 6.5 billion euros ($7.1 billion) to 30 billion in the coming 30 years.

Under the motion approved by parliament, the company that operates the Groningen field, a joint venture including Shell, Exxon and the Dutch government, would have to provide evidence that disputed damage claims are bogus, rather than claimants having to show evidence they are legitimate.

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Shell to suffer profits plunge on oil price collapse

Screen Shot 2015-04-26 at 16.23.08An article by Christopher Williams published 26 April 2015 by The Sunday Telegraph

Shell to suffer profits plunge on oil price collapse

Dutch earthquake fears also trim gas production

Shell is expected to reveal this week that the collapse in the price of oil has wiped off two thirds of its first quarter profits.

The giant has been hit hard by the economic and geopolitical forces set against the price of oil, which at $65 per barrel costs little more than half as much as it did last summer, in spite of recent gains.

Analysts at JP Morgan said Shell is expected to report profits of £1.6bn, adjusted for one-off charges, compared with £4.8bn for the first three months of last year, when Brent crude was comfortably above $100 per barrel.

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U.S. Maps Pinpoint Earthquakes Linked to Quest for Oil and Gas

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Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 07.46.46“Predicting risk is also hard, the report noted, because there is no scientific consensus on just how powerful such quakes can be. The report estimated the effects of shocks up to magnitudes 6 and 7, while noting that some scientists have speculated that the catastrophic 7.9-magnitude earthquake in China in 2008 was caused by human activity.”

Article bBy RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA PUBLISHED APRIL 23, 2015 BY THE NEW YORK TIMES

The United States Geological Survey on Thursday released its first comprehensive assessment of the link between thousands of earthquakes and oil and gas operations, identifying and mapping 17 regions where quakes have occurred.

The report was the agency’s broadest statement yet on a danger that has grown along with the nation’s energy production.

By far the hardest-hit state, the report said, is Oklahoma, where earthquakes are hundreds of times more common than they were until a few years ago because of the disposal of wastewater left over from extracting fuels and from drilling wells by injecting water into the earth. But the report also mapped parts of eight other states, from Lake Erie to the Rocky Mountains, where that practice has caused quakes, and said most of them were at risk for more significant shaking in the future.

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NAM apologizes for Groningen earthquakes

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Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 08.30.55CAUTION: NON-PROFESSIONAL ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF EXTRACTS FROM A DUTCH ARTICLE

The Dutch Petroleum Company (NAM) has apologized for the earthquakes in Groningen and the problems caused by these earthquakes.

This is evident from the reaction of Gerald Schotman, Managing Director of NAM, on the report of the Safety Board (OvV) about the earthquake risks in Groningen.

“I deeply regret that the earthquakes caused problems for many people and I want to apologize,” said Schotman.

Schotman regretted that NAM had not carried out extensive research into the safety risks. “We could have been more curious about what happens in and above the soil in Groningen.  That did not happen, I am sorry.”

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A Dutch can of worms for Shell and Exxon

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Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 08.30.55By John Donovan

The financial repercussions from the Shell/Exxon induced earthquakes in the Groningen area of the Netherlands,  which are increasing in strength and frequency, is getting even more serious.

Reuters is reporting that the estimated cost to reinforce more than 150,000 Dutch homes to withstand the earthquakes caused by extracting gas in the Groningen gas field has increased to at least 30 billion euros ($32 billion). 

That does not include the cost of repairing widespread damage already inflicted on properties in the area.

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Groningen quake zone: another shaker

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Reinforcing homes in Dutch gas extraction quake zone estimated at 30 bln euros

Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:01am EDT

(Reuters) – The estimated cost to reinforce more than 150,000 Dutch homes to withstand earthquakes caused by extracting gas in the massive Groningen field was increased to at least 30 billion euros ($32 billion), the province said on Monday.

Gas extraction at the field, Europe’s largest, which reached more than 50 billion cubic meters last year, is causing increasingly stronger and more frequent earthquakes. The strongest was in 2013 and was 3.6 magnitude.

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A Halt to Groningen Production Could Significantly Impact on Shell’s Remaining Reserves

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RELATES TO ARTICLE: Shell/Exxon Induced Earthquakes undermine Dutch Gov Revenues

According to figures published on this site, Shell replaced just 26% of the reserves that it produced in 2014. The Groningen field represents a significant fraction of Shell’s remaining reserves. If Groningen production is halted to reduce the risk of earthquakes, the impact on Shell’s remaining reserves will be significant.

Shell/Exxon Induced Earthquakes undermine Dutch Gov Revenues

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 08.30.55By John Donovan

The Groningen gas field is a giant natural gas field located near Slochteren in Groningen province in the northeastern part of the Netherlands. Discovered in 1959, it is the largest natural gas field in Europe.

It is operated by the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij BV (NAM), a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil, with each company owning a 50% share. For decades all went well.

The venture was a money spinner for Shell, Exxon, the Dutch government and the local population.

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