Europe’s largest gas field in Groningen, The Netherlands, SHUTS DOWN due to earthquake fears (or so they say)
04/26/2024 // Ethan Huff // Views

Another energy-producing powerhouse bit the dust after authorities, in this case in The Netherlands, decided that continuing to drill for gas creates too substantial a seismic risk throughout the region.

The Groningen gas field is officially closed, this after changes were made last October to reduce its drilling capacity. No longer will the Groningen gas field produce any gas because authorities say doing so could cause earthquakes.

Over the years, thousands of structures close to Groningen have become damaged due to seismic tremors, much like the ones that now routinely occur in Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle due to hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.

The 11 oil wells at Groningen will remain open just in case The Netherlands experiences a severe winter or some other extenuating circumstance, i.e., the war in Ukraine, that requires emergency energy production.

(Related: Remember back in early 2023 when the mayor of The Hague threatened protesting Dutch farmers with violence if they refused to stop their tractor caravans and blockades?)

Local officials fume over Groningen oil field shutdown – is it REALLY about stopping earthquakes?

Just prior to the closure of the Groningen oil field, the Dutch senate approved a new law to forever close it in the hopes that there will never again be any earthquakes in the region.

The plan was actually to shut down the oil field weeks ago, but the vote was delayed after concerns were raised about the long-term viability of The Netherlands' energy production capacity.

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It would seem utterly foolish at a time like this for The Netherlands to stop producing its own earth-based energy, especially with energy inflation still on the rise in many areas of Europe.

Not everyone is pleased with the decision, including local government officials in the northern province who say the Dutch economy will suffer in major ways as a result of the closure.

Originally opened in 1963, the Groningen oil field is Europe's largest. For decades, it was a major contributor to the Dutch economy, producing more than 50 billion cubic meters of gas at its peak about a decade ago.

Since 1986, however, there have been more than 1,600 earthquakes recorded in and around the gas field. Roughly 85,000 buildings have been damaged by these quakes, though there is no guarantee the quakes will stop just because oil is no longer being drilled.

The oil industry, including Shell and Exxon, is pursuing arbitration via the court system to determine whether or not compensation is owed for this sudden shutdown.

Since the Groningen oil field was first opened, The Netherlands has profited from it to the tune of $385 billion. Its closure means that much less gross domestic product (GDP) for the Western European nation.

Prior to Russia's invasion of Ukraine when the oil fields were still fully operational, The Netherlands still had to import about 25 percent of its gas from Russia. Today, that figure has dropped to less than nine percent.

Coupled with the closure of the Groningen oil field, the Dutch energy supply is now at dismally low levels.

"This is only aimed at crippling Europe by cutting off its fuel supply," one commenter wrote about how the closure is a massive scam. "Earthquakes and climate have nothing to do with it."

"The EU is going down," wrote another. "If you hang out with murdering, thieving bastards and allow them to sabotage you while doing nothing about it, you'll fail – who knew?"

The powers that be are using every excuse under the sun to shut down production of reliable, plentiful and affordable earth-based fuels like natural gas and oil. Learn more at

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