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Title: Social impacts of earthquakes caused by gas extraction in the Province of Groningen, The Netherlands

Gas extraction from the Groningen gasfield in the northern Netherlands has led to localised earthquakes which are projected to become more severe. The social impacts experienced by local residents include: damage to property; declining house prices; concerns about the chance of dykes breaking; feelings of anxiety and insecurity; health issues; and anger. These social and emotional impacts are exacerbated by the increasing distrust Groningen people have towards the national government and the gas company, NAM, a partnership between Shell and ExxonMobil. The earthquakes have reopened discussions about the distribution of benefits from gas production and the extent to which benefits are retained locally. Mitigation of the impacts is attempted, but the lack of trust decreases the effectiveness of the mitigation measures. The extent of this experience of previously-unforeseen, unanticipated impacts suggests that a new social and environmental impact assessment needs to be undertaken, and a new Social Impact Management Plan (SIMP) and Impacts and Benefits Agreement (IBA) developed, so that the project can regain its legitimacy and social licence to operate. In addition to conventional gas, this paper has wider relevance for unconventional gas developments, for example shale gas extraction by hydraulic fracturing methods (fracking). - Highlights: • Gas productionmore » in Groningen has caused over 1000 earthquakes. • The induced seismicity has caused many social impacts. • Impacts include building damage, reduced house prices, fear and health issues. • Mitigation measures attempted to date are inadequate. • Distrust towards the national government and operator hinders mitigation efforts. • Gas production in Groningen has lost its social licence to operate.« less
Authors:
;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22447497
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Impact Assessment Review; Journal Volume: 50; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2014 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; AUGMENTATION; CHARGES; DAMAGE; DISTRIBUTION; DRILLING; EARTHQUAKES; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS; EXTRACTION; HOUSES; HYDRAULIC FRACTURING; LICENSES; MANAGEMENT; MITIGATION; NATIONAL GOVERNMENT; NETHERLANDS; PRICES; SEISMICITY; SHALE GAS; SOCIAL IMPACT