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Groningen gas extraction ends in October 2023. Dismantling follows a year later.

After six decades, a definitive end is coming to gas extraction in the Groningen field. The Groningen gas tap closes on 1 October 2023, but the gas wells will remain open until 1 October 2024 in case of an extremely cold winter. State Secretary Hans Vijlbrief of Mining reacts satisfactorily to the decision.

In the 1960s, the Netherlands began extracting natural gas from the gas field in the province of Groningen. The decision to stop gas extraction came after decades of safety issues for the area's earthquake-prone residents. These earthquakes, caused by the depletion of the gas fields, have caused significant damage to homes and farms.

Despite the closure of the gas tap, the problems and earthquakes will not disappear. "The problems of the Groningers are not yet resolved, and unfortunately, the earthquakes will continue for years to come, but the source of all troubles is closed from October," says Vijlbrief to NOS.

The definitive cessation of gas extraction has a long history of debate and delay, partly due to international uncertainties such as the war in Ukraine and the resulting gas shortages. Despite these challenges, gas extraction is finally stopped, with the wells being dismantled in 2024. In very exceptional situations, gas can still be pumped in a limited way, for example, when extremely cold weather is forecasted.

The Parliamentary Inquiry Committee on Groningen Gas Extraction concluded earlier this year that the interests of the Groningen residents were systematically ignored in gas extraction, with making money always taking precedence over safety. The Cabinet has allocated an additional 13.5 billion euros for damage repair, house strengthening, and paying off the "debt of honour" to the Groningers.

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