The quake struck Opende, which sits outside of the official gas-drilling zone
Translated by Thomas Ansell
The 1.4-strength on the Richter Scale earthquake that hit the Groninger village of Opende on the weekend has caused consternation at the Gemeente Westerkwartier (Groningen). Opende is not inside any of the gas-drilling sites, though does sit close to a number of small wells on the Frisian border, reports the Omrop Fryslân.
Hielke Westra (CDA), a Wethouder at the Gemeente Westerkwartier with responsibility for (amongst other things) gas-extraction and sustainability, said: “I want to know from the NAM why this quake originated.” The quake was at a depth of three kilometres, and that is a depth normally associated with quakes from gas extraction. “I looks likely that the quake was caused by gas extraction from an under-lying gas field”, added Westra.
The quake wasn’t far from Surhuisterveen, which has a population of around 6,000 people. The Gemeente Westerkwartier is now in contact with its various neighbouring Frisian municipalities to come up with a unified approach to the issue. There were two earlier quakes in the locale, in 1999 and 2003. The area also suffers from constant tremors, however fewer than in Northern Groningen.