EU approves Dutch support for earthquake damage caused by gas drilling

EPA-EFE/SIESE VEENSTRA

Farmers protest against the handling of the earthquake damage, as the Dutch government organised a hearing about the fracking in Groningen, The Hague, Netherlands, February 1, 2018.

Plans to compensate damage from small earthquakes linked to gas extraction in the province of Groningen.


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The European Commission said on July 13 that the EC has found that the support put in place by the Netherlands to compensate damage to real estate caused by earthquakes induced by drilling in the Groningen gas field is in line with EU State aid rules.

According to the Commission, the Dutch authorities notified to the Commission a plan to set up a non-profit foundation to manage real estate activities related to the repair and sale of buildings in the area concerned. This is required because the province suffers from earthquakes caused by gas extraction in the Groningen gas field.

Three-quarters of the activities of the foundation will be financed by Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschapij, a company involved in gas extraction at the Groningen gas field, while the remaining quarter will be financed in part by the State through a €10 million grant.

The Commission said the EC is satisfied that the repair activities are ultimately funded by Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschapij, in line with the polluter pays principle. The Commission found that the financing by the State ensures the continuity of real estate transactions in the area and does not confer an advantage to Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschapij.

The Commission said the EC, therefore, concluded that the measure does not constitute State aid.

 

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