“I understand very well that it is a disappointment for the people in the tremors.” This is what outgoing Minister Blok of Economic Affairs says about his announcement that more Groningen gas is still needed. According to Blok, there are good reasons for the extra extraction.
Some Groningen think that the timing, just the entry of the new cabinet is no coincidence and do not have a good word about it for the current cabinet:
The construction of a nitrogen plant has been delayed due to the corona pandemic. The plant must convert foreign gas to the quality of the Groningen gas (low-calorie). “I had to announce this delay last year,” says Blok, “and that it was therefore possible that more gas had to be gained. The calculations now point to that.”
only yesterday that they became known, says Blok, and he immediately made them public. The final decision to go from 3.9 billion kuub to a maximum of 7.6 billion kuub will be taken by the next cabinet, which will be sworn in by the king on Monday. “But I dont want to give the impression that a different decision is possible with this calculation,” says Blok.
Demissionary Prime Minister Rutte agrees that:
Germany also still needs Groningen gas, although, according to Blok, it works well in the dismantling that the Netherlands has set itself as its goal. “Houses need to be heated, even in Germany.” According to a contract, which expires in this decade, the Netherlands is obliged to supply gas for German households.
The cabinet has TNO still calculate whether the gas extraction can have consequences for the earthquakes in the extraction area. Blok considers that chance small because the extraction level of 7.6 billion kuub is already much lower than the tens of billions of kuub that were won in the past. Quakes are still expected in the coming years, even if no more gas is extracted.