Safety of people of Groningen is paramount in gas issue: minister
The safety of the people of Groningen is ‘paramount’, economic affairs minister Henk Kamp told a press conference in the province on Tuesday.
Kamp confirmed reports on Monday that he will limit full-year gas extraction to 30 billion cubic metres this year.
The minister said that in order to safeguard supplies, 33 billion cubic metres of gas are required. However, risk analysis by the state mines watchdog advised that it would be sensible to ‘keep as far below this amount as feasible’ in order to limit the risk of earthquakes.
The additional 3 billion cubic metres will be taken from the extra capacity stored at Norg, Kamp said.
For future years, the government is looking at two alternatives. One of these involves Importing gas, most likely from Russia with whom the Netherlands currently has a problematic relationship.
A second possibility is to investigate if a ‘stable and constant level of gas extraction can be found’ for Groningen. Fluctuations in the demand for gas could then be compensated by imported gas.