EnergyWatch

The Netherlands will pull out of gas as soon as possible

After the largest earthquake in five years, the Dutch minister of economic affairs and climate policy has announced that the country will be phasing out natural gas production. However, a timeline has not been set.

Photo: Dong Energy, PR

Monday afternoon, the Dutch province of Groningen was shaken by an earthquake. This is not an unusual phenomenon in the northern part of the country which clocked 18 earthquakes of more than 1.5 on the Richter scale over the past year, and six alone over the past month. However, with a magnitude of up to 3.4 on the Richter scale, the Dutch Meteorological Institute stated that the latest earthquake was the most intense when measured in the past five years, and the third-largest ever before measured.

Meanwhile, the earthquake not only impacted buildings, it has also fueled the Dutch debate regarding the production of natural gas, which since the 1960s has taken place in Europe's largest onshore gas reservoir, Slochteren in the Groningen province. The production has led to increased instances of earthquakes as the layers are emptied.

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