Because of gas winning, earthquakes in Groningen are becoming stronger and appear more often. Gas production from Groningen started around 1963. It was not until 1991 that the power of these earthquakes started to increase. The years after that, the power of the earthquakes and frequency of them stayed about the same. Until 2003, at that point the power of the earthquakes started to increase again. However it took until 2012 when a ‘big’ earthquake occurred, 3.2 on the Richter scale. From that moment, people started to look different at the events that were happening and the relation of earthquakes and gas winning was now taken seriously. Research showed that it was clear that the earthquakes were caused by the gas winning. Because of these events also, it became clear that research needed to be done much more precise than was done before. This was to find out the possible catastrophes that could occur, as a cause of the increasing power of the earthquakes. Last year, the Dutch government decided to spread the winning of the gas by reducing the quantity won at the big fields, and increasing the quantity won in the small field. The impact of these regulations was seen in the earthquakes that were seen in 2014, the frequency stayed the same but the power of those earthquakes was way less than before. This was a good, in-depth article that provided a lot of information for people that don’t know a lot about it yet.
Sidenote: The Dutch government lowered the gas production that same year even more under pressure of the citizens, no big reports of earthquakes so far.
van Thienen-Visser, K., and J. N. Breunese. "Induced Seismicity Of The Groningen Gas Field; History And Recent Developments."Leading Edge [Tulsa, OK] 34.6 (2015): 664-671. GeoRef. Journal. 11 Feb. 2016.
The natural gas well in Groningen is one of the largest wells in the world. It contains enough gas to supply The Netherlands and parts of other countries for over 50 years total. Since the start of...