“Hundreds of billions were earned. If you look at what has been invested in independent knowledge development, there is very little,” said expert Hans de Waal, a researcher for oil company Shell and the State Supervision of Mines (SodM), reports NU.nl. De Waal, alongside fellow expert Hans Roest, expressed disbelief at the lack of geological understanding within the mining operations in Groningen.
In their time as experts during the gas extraction, the pair were repeatedly dismissed, and their qualms about the nature of the operation reportedly fell on deaf ears. According to Roest, it felt like the gas extraction operations were “above the law.”
Former VVD economic affairs minister Annemarie Jorritsma, who was assigned to the gas mining operations as a representative of the state, proved “difficult to question”, reports NU.nl. Jorritsma was, reportedly, unable to provide clear answers during the hearing, as well as seemingly forgetful on a number of occasions.
The first week saw twelve people interviewed in the hopes of building a case for the “nature, seriousness, scope and persistence of the problems in Groningen,” states the cabinet’s website. In total, the investigation will call 70 people to stand, ranging from victims of the gas mining operations, to stakeholders and former officers from oil companies Shell.
Interested in learning more about the gas extraction hearings, as well as victim accounts from the first week of the investigation? You can check out our previous coverage here.