This follows a 1.9-magnitude earthquake in Garrelsweer, Groningen, on Tuesday
Translated by Thomas Ansell
The Gemeente De Fryske Marren (in the South-Western part of Friesland) is keeping its position against further gas-exploration and production. Earlier, the Council of the State had said that it would grant the Canadian oil and gas company Vermilion a permit to research what sits under the ground in the Gemeente. However, the De Fryske Marren itself is not budging, and has said that it wants absolutely no research into further extraction of oil and gas.
One argument put forward by the municipality is that research to see what sits under the ground in the Gemeente would cause significant nuisance from noise and vibration. Vermilion itself countered by saying that the nuisance wouldn’t be so bad: the business holds that the seismic activity will be so short that no-one will notice.
“The drilling of holes, the igniting of explosives, and the amount of vibration will take only one day to complete”, said a spokesperson for the company. “The cleaning up of all our equipment and so-named ‘geo-phone lines’ will take a maximum of three weeks. The vibrations will only occur for around 10 seconds.”
The Council of State must now make a decision whether to allow the research.
Gemeente: scrap centrally-granted permits
A case is currently progressing through the highest civil court. The gemeente itself is asking for the scrapping of three permits, that minister Wiebes at the ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate had granted. These regard the ‘exclusive rights’ to search for gas and oil in Lemsterland, Hemelum, and Follega.
The Ministry rejected the Gemeente’s objection as inadmissible, and then ruled that an appeal had been lodged too late. But, according to the municipality, the ministry waited three months before coming out with a decision about the permit. The Ministry, however, only gave De Fryske Marren two weeks to react to the decision. According to the Gemeente, that is a dishonest practice, because everyone in the Netherlands normally has six weeks to react to a decision by the government, and lodge an appeal.
The Council of State will investigate whether the ministry still needs to address the objections of the municipality against the permits.