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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

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.

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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

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

Shell and Exxon punished by Dutch ad authority for fossil fuel claim

The television ad stated that natural gas was “the cleanest of all fossil fuels.”

This is the second time in 2017 that Dutch advertising authorities have sought to punish the oil and gas industry with Statoil reprimanded for claiming gas to be “clean energy” and “low emissions fuel” in June.

The Dutch Advertising Code Authority stated that the term “cleanest fossil fuel” was not in line with the MRC (the Dutch advertising code).

Friends of the Earth Europe co-filed the complaint.

Paul de Clerk of Friends of the Earth Europe, said: “This clear ruling by the advertisement standards board is of great importance. Time after time we see how oil and gas companies are misleading citizens and politicians. read more

Exxon, Shell Censured for Claiming Natural Gas Is ‘Cleanest’ Fossil Fuel

By Farron Cousins: 15 August 2017

For many years, a standard talking point from the fossil fuel industry and those who speak on the industry’s behalf has been that natural gas is a cleaner alternative to conventional energy sources like coal and oil. This talking point is at least partially responsible for many people—including former President Barack Obama and his Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz—believing that natural gas can act as a “bridge fuel” in the eventual shift from coal and oil to renewable sources of energy. read more

Shell and Exxon face censure over claim gas was ‘cleanest fossil fuel’

The Dutch advertising watchdog will on Tuesday censure Shell and Exxon for claiming that natural gas was “the cleanest of all fossil fuels” in an advert earlier this year. It will be the second time this summer that the Netherlands advertising standards board has ruled against the fossil fuels industry… FULL ARTICLE 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dutch court upholds Groningen gas production cap

Jan. 5, 2017 2:28 PM ET|By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor

A Dutch court today upheld a government decision to cap production at the Groningen gas field at 24B cm until Oct. 1, 2021, a step aimed at easing the risk of earthquakes triggered by drawing gas from the field.

The court was responding to requests for a preliminary injunction against the June decision, opposed by groups who sought a halt or a deeper cut to production at Groningen.

Output has been cut several times from 53.9B cm in 2013 amid criticism that Dutch authorities had failed to adequately assess the risk to citizens from earthquakes caused by gas production. read more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Intelligent Energy 2016: Shell operating huge Groningen gas field from “control room of next week”

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Written by Mark Lammey – 08/09/2016 7:00 am

The thought of just two people operating one of the world’s largest gas fields might perplex some, but that’s just what’s happening in the Netherlands.

NAM, a joint venture between Shell and ExxonMobil, has been producing gas from the Groningen field since the early 1960s.

In the mid-1990s, NAM needed to replace older equipment and put in compressor modules to maintain pressure in the field.

The restoration programme led to a 50% reduction in headcount on the field as NAM brought in greater automation, according to Carl Schmitz, Shell’s current operations manager for Groningen. read more

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shell offers well-paid office staff redundancy, hundreds of jobs to go

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20 April 2016

Shell is offering office personnel earning more than €75,000 a voluntary package to leave the company, the AD says on Wednesday, quoting union and company sources.

The company hopes this will enable it to cut the workforce by hundreds of jobs without launching an official reorganisation, the paper says.

The offer has been made to staff at Shell’s training and R&D centres in Rijswijk and Amsterdam as well as at the Shell HQ in The Hague and at NAM, Shell’s natural gas joint venture with ExxonMobil. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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. read more

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.

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Shell, Exxon ordered to pay Groningen earthquake compensation

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

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. read more

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