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The Groningen Scandal: Shell and its partners, unleashed devastating Earthquakes in Pursuit of Profits

The seismic activity caused by this relentless extraction has led to the destruction of over 85,000 homes, leaving countless families displaced and their lives shattered.

Posted 10 June 2023 by John Donovan

The Groningen gasfield, boasting a colossal 2.8 billion cubic meters, stands as a testament to the insatiable greed of Shell and Exxon Mobil, the companies jointly responsible for its management. With the extraction operations by their joint venture company NAM spanning over 60 years, these oil giants have raked in huge profits, leaving a trail of destruction and misery in their wake.

In a stunning display of disregard for human safety and the environment, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte now faces mounting calls for his resignation as evidence emerges of his government’s decision for NAM to proceed with gas extraction in the northern Netherlands, fully aware that it would result in devastating earthquakes.

Despite mounting evidence of the cataclysmic consequences, Rutte’s government shamelessly continued to exploit the gasfield, leaving the people of the region to suffer the consequences. The seismic activity caused by this relentless extraction has led to the destruction of over 85,000 homes, leaving countless families displaced and their lives shattered.

Even in the face of overwhelming evidence and pleas from experts, Rutte stubbornly defended his government’s actions. It was only in 2018, when a monstrous earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richter scale struck the town of Huizinge, that Rutte finally acknowledged the magnitude of the problem. But his belated realization does little to absolve him of the years of lies and disregard for the rights and safety of the people of Groningen. read more

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Dutch government promises support to Shell to cut CO2 emissions

Dutch government promises support to Shell to cut CO2 emissions

Thu, 13 April 2023 at 1:20 pm BST·

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -The Dutch government on Thursday said it would support oil and gas company Shell in its efforts to reduce its CO2 and nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands in the coming years.

The government said it would look at building infrastructure and accelerating permitting procedures needed for projects that would help Shell, one of the country’s largest polluters, reach its goal of cutting 3.9 megatons of CO2 emissions from its Dutch plants by 2030. read more

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Shell: Gas field in Groningen must be completely closed this year, in light of earthquakes

NL TIMES

Shell: Gas field in Groningen must be completely closed this year, in light of earthquakes

SUNDAY, 26 MARCH 2023 

The gas field in Groningen must be completely closed this year, said the CEO of Shell Netherlands, Marjan van Loon. Currently, the gas field is still supplying minimal amounts of gas to keep the wells usable, but she doesn’t think that’s necessary. “It can and must be done, so the field has to be closed,” Van Loon said on the TV program WNL Op Zondag. read more

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Damning report slams state, oil companies for Groningen gas failures

DutchNews.nl

Damning report slams state, oil companies for Groningen gas failures

February 24, 2023 – By Robin Pascoe

The interests of the people of Groningen were systematically ignored by both the government and oil companies, and making money remained the dominant concern when natural gas extraction started causing earthquakes, according to the parliamentary commission set up to investigate.

The worlds of those making the decisions and the locals were ‘miles apart’, commission chief Tom van der Lee said at the presentation of the report into the problems, which has taken two years and hundreds of interviews to complete.

Gas extraction has become an ‘unprecedented system failure’ and both the public and private sector have failed in their duties, Van der Lee said.

Ministers were not properly informed and that meant that MPs could not fulfill their role as guardians of the public interest. The damage, both material and mental, suffered by locals was consistently underestimated and the maximalisation of profit was the guiding force. read more

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Dutch gov’t, Shell and Exxon ignored Groningen risks for years, inquiry finds

“Gas extraction in Groningen was so successful and lucrative for the Dutch government, Shell and Exxon Mobil that they hardly took any notion of the long-term risks and the ever-clearer signs of the detrimental effects for the people in Groningen…” 

REUTERS

Dutch gov’t, Shell and Exxon ignored Groningen risks for years, inquiry finds

AMSTERDAM, Feb 24 (Reuters) – The Dutch government and energy companies Shell (SHEL.L) and Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) ignored the risks of gas production in Groningen for years, to the detriment of people living in the province, a parliamentary inquiry concluded on Friday.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte and others involved “gravely underestimated” the urgency of the problems in Groningen, said the committee set up to investigate the decades of lucrative gas extraction that caused tremors damaging thousands of houses and buildings in the region.

The massive Groningen field is operated by Shell and Exxon joint venture NAM and was one of Europe’s major suppliers of natural gas for decades.

“These are hard and painful conclusions,” Rutte told a news conference. “They make clear there is a lot to do to help the region and to hopefully restore trust.”

The government will take time provide a full response to the report, he said without indicating how long that would take.

A statement from NAM director Johan Atema said: “It is clear that we need to have a better eye for the society in which we work. It is up to us to show that we as a company have learned from this.” read more

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Netherlands To Shut Down Europe’s Largest Gas Field

OILPRICE.COM

Netherlands To Shut Down Europe’s Largest Gas Field

The Dutch government plans to close the Groningen gas field this year despite Europe’s precarious supply position. Groningen is the largest gas field in Europe.

The field is dangerous, a government official from the Hague told the Financial Times, and the government has no plans to boost production from it.

“We won’t open up more because of the safety issues,” Hans Vijbrief told the FT. “It is politically totally unviable. But apart from that, I’m not going to do it because it means that you increase the chances of earthquakes, which I don’t want to be responsible for.” read more

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Ogoni 9 Widows Dutch court case against Shell

The struggle continues: Please show compassion for the widows of the Ogoni 9

JANUARY 16, 2023 BY ANDY ROWELL BLOG POST

Extracts

When the Nigerian writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa was murdered in 1995 along with eight other colleagues, his reported final words were: “Lord take my soul, but the struggle continues”.

Saro-Wiwa and the others had been campaigning against Shell’s ecological destruction of Ogoniland. Thirty years ago this month, on January 4 1995, some 300,000 Ogoni, some sixty per cent of the population, peacefully protested against the oil giant’s activities. At the time, it was the largest mobilisation against an oil company worldwide. read more

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Large-scale polluter Shell loses legal battle

Large-scale polluter Shell loses legal battle

The Guardian: Isabella Kaminski: Thu 29 Dec 2022 12.00 GMT

Between 2004 and 2007, the villages of Oruma, Goi and Ikot Ada Udo in Nigeria were polluted with oil from infrastructure built by Royal Dutch Shell. More than 15 years later, in late December, the company finally agreed to pay four farmers and their communities €15m in compensation and install a leak detection system after a court in the Netherlands ruled that Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary was liable and the parent company had a duty of care. read more

This website and sisters royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, and shellnews.net, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

Shell to pay $16m to Nigerian farmers over oil damage

BBC News

Shell to pay $16m to Nigerian farmers over oil damage

23 Dec 2022

Shell has agreed to pay $16m (£13m) to four Nigerian farmers and their communities to compensate for damage allegedly caused by pollution coming from leaks in its oil pipelines.

The sum was agreed in negotiations between the oil company and campaign group Friends of the Earth.

But it is being given on the basis of “no admission of liability”, a joint statement says.

Nigeria’s oil industry has been a major source of environmental damage. read more

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Nigerian widows end their case in the Netherlands against Shell

REUTERS

Nigerian widows end their case in the Netherlands against Shell

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – A group of four widows who had sought to hold Shell liable for damages in the Netherlands after their anti-oil activist husbands were executed by the Nigerian government in 1995 have cancelled further legal proceedings, their lawyer said on Monday.

“Obviously this is not without disappointment and frustration,” said lawyer Channa Samkalden in statement announcing that the widows have cancelled an appeal launched after the Hague District Court rejected their case earlier this year. read more

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Shell boss reveals regrets and pride as he steps down after decade

thenationalnews.com

Shell boss reveals regrets and pride as he steps down after decade

Ben van Beurden’s regrets were linked to financial issues in the Arctic and safety at a Dutch oilfield

Soraya Ebrahimi: Oct 28, 2022

Shell’s chief executive Ben van Beurden has said he regretted not acting earlier on two problems linked to the environment, as he prepares to step down after nearly a decade in charge.

Mr van Beurden said he should have acted in 2015 on data coming out of the Groningen gasfield in the Netherlands. read more

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Malabu Oil Scandal: International Organisations File Appeal At The Hague, Demand Fresh Probe Of Shell

Malabu Oil Scandal: International Organisations File Appeal At The Hague, Demand Fresh Probe Of Shell Company, Managers

October 24, 2022

Three non-governmental organisations, Re:Common (Italy), HEDA Resource Centre (Nigeria) and Corner House (UK) on Monday announced that they had filed a complaint at the Court of Appeal in The Hague challenging the decision by the Dutch Prosecutors Office to drop its investigation of Shell and Shell management relating to alleged corruption in Nigeria.

The Complaint was filed by the Dutch law firm Prakken pursuant to Article 12 of the Dutch Code for Criminal Procedure.

Article 12 permits interested parties to challenge prosecutorial decisions not to investigate or prosecute an alleged crime.

In 2017, the three NGOs sought an investigation by the Dutch Prosecutors Office into Shell’s involvement in the 2011 acquisition of the exploitation rights to the Nigerian oil block OPL245. They have since submitted further concerns relating to Shell’s divestments of oil mining licences in the Niger Delta.

Separately, Shell also reported a senior manager to the Dutch Prosecutors Office for bribery relating to one of the oil field divestments. read more

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Dutch prosecutors to pursue pollution case against Shell-Exxon gas venture

Dutch prosecutors to pursue pollution case against Shell-Exxon gas venture

By Syndicated Content Oct 12, 2022 | 7:53 AM

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -Dutch prosecutors said on Wednesday they will pursue a pollution case against NAM, a joint venture of Shell and ExxonMobil that operates gas fields in the Netherlands.

The prosecutors “(suspect) NAM of injecting waste streams from natural gas extraction into the deep subsurface without a permit”, a statement from their office said.

Prosecutors say they believe the company took waste products from natural gas extraction in the North Sea, then processed and injected them into empty gas fields in the province of Groningen.

A spokesperson for NAM said the company would respond later on Wednesday.

Reuters reported last month that Shell And ExxonMobil have put their 50-50 venture up for sale, with expected proceeds of over $1 billion.

NAM started producing natural gas in 1963 following the discovery of the giant Groningen field, which was a major source of gas for the Netherlands and Europe for decades.

But extraction has been almost completely wound down in the past 10 years as tremors blamed on drilling damaged buildings and prompted protests by residents and campaigners. read more

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Shell should have quit Groningen gas project in Netherlands earlier -CEO

REUTERS

Shell should have quit Groningen gas project in Netherlands earlier -CEO

AMSTERDAM, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Shell CEO Ben van Beurden told a Dutch parliamentary panel investigating problems relating to natural gas production at the large Groningen gas field in the Netherlands that the company should have pulled out of the project earlier.

Production at Groningen was scaled back sharply over a period of years in the 2010s after the Dutch government and producer NAM, a Shell-Exxon joint venture, realized the earthquakes it caused posed too great a threat to life and property.

“We had to continually ask what makes sense,” as production was dialled back to levels at which NAM made little to no profit, Van Beurden told lawmakers.

“What made sense for Shell was to quit. In any other country we would have stopped this operation. But in the Netherlands that was impossible because the Netherlands was dependent on Groningen gas.”

A damning report in 2015 from the independent Dutch Safety Board had accused the government and the field’s operators of ignoring the threat of earthquakes linked to the field for years. As vast amounts of gas were removed from under the province since 1963, the ground sank and settled above empty pockets, triggering quakes. read more

This website and sisters royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, and shellnews.net, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

Activist Investor: Shell Must Do More To Curb Emissions

OILPRICE.COM

Activist Investor: Shell Must Do More To Curb Emissions

An expected drop in Shell’s net greenhouse gas emissions is not aligned with the Paris Agreement and with a Dutch court order for the now UK-based supermajor to slash emissions much more by 2030, activist investor Follow This says.

A recent report from Australia-based Global Climate Insights showed that Shell’s net emissions, after CCUS and offsets, are forecast to be 6% lower in 2030 compared to 2019, assuming it is on track to achieve its targets for CCUS and offsets. read more

This website and sisters royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, and shellnews.net, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

Shell, Exxon launch joint sale of UK, Dutch North Sea assets -sources

Reuters

Shell, Exxon launch joint sale of UK, Dutch North Sea assets -sources

Ron Bousso: Tue, September 27, 2022 at 4:16 PM

LONDON, Sept 27 (Reuters) – Shell and Exxon Mobil have launched a joint sale process of a large package of offshore natural gas assets in the southern UK and Dutch North Sea, three industry and banking sources said.

The two companies have hired investment bank Jefferies to run the sale, which could raise over $2 billion, the sources said.

Launched earlier this month, the sale comes after Shell and Exxon independently ran initial sales processes for their British and Dutch assets.

Shell declined to comment. Jefferies declined to comment. Exxon did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

In July, Shell and Exxon launched the sale of the 50-50 NAM joint venture in the Netherlands, operator of the Groningen gas field and one of Europe’s largest and oldest natural gas production companies.

The two companies have also separately put up for sale their stakes in their British southern North Sea gas hub, which include the Clipper Leman Alpha hubs as well as the Bacton terminal in eastern England, the sources said. read more

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