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Groningen Earthquake Damage: NAM does not appeal the Zwarberg case

Printed below is an English translation of an article published today by the Dutch Financial Times, Financieele Dagblad. It is about NAM Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij BV., a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil each owning a 50% share in the company responsible for the earthquake prone Groningen Gas Field and the consequential potential bill for untold billions in damages.


Groningen Earthquake Damage: NAM does not appeal the Zwarberg case

Carel Grol • Entrepreneurship

The NAM is not appealing against the Zwarberg family from Termunterzijl, whose house has been declared uninhabitable by earthquake damage. Hiltje and Leny Zwarberg had won the case at the end of last year, and the NAM oil and gas company was looking forward to follow-up steps legal steps.

The court ruled last year that the NAM is liable for the damage suffered by Zwarberg as a result of soil extraction due to gas extraction, in any case consisting of the cost of repairing the cracks and the unsafe position.

The fact that NAM renounces the profession has everything to do with the new damage protocol in Groningen. This protocol on the settlement of the damage starts on 1 July 2018. Last week, the Dutch Petroleum Company reported that the company wants to be ready by then to handle thousands of damage claims that occurred before 31 March 2017.

Old damage

Because then, almost a year ago, the NAM withdrew from the settlement of the earthquake damage in Groningen. Only six thousand of these ‘old’ claims are still waiting for settlement. The damage of Hiltje and Leny Zwarberg is one of those old cases.

NAM wants to solve all outstanding claims by means of a reasonable offer, the company reports. ‘This also applies to the Zwarberg family. Although there are legal reasons for appealing, a quick solution to this long-term case is our preference ‘, the company said in a statement.


The NAM is discussing matters with the Zwarberg family. Agreements must be made on how the damage can be repaired to the house, ‘so that they can live at home as quickly as possible’, according to the statement. ‘We expect it to be a radical renovation, which will take some time.’

Until the move, the NAM will continue to pay the rent of the replacement home. ‘The first discussions have already taken place with the Zwarberg family and the NAM assumes that these will lead to a positive outcome.’



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