Commission of Inquiry into Natural Gas Extraction in Groningen launches public hearings

June 21, 2022

The Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry into Natural Gas Extraction in Groningen starts the first week of the public hearings on Monday 27 June. Commission President Tom van der Lee announced the interrogation plan on Wednesday, June 22nd. All hearings can be followed via the livestream on this website and the Debat Direct app.

Committee members: Stieneke van der Graaf (ChristenUnie), Barbara Kathmann (PvdA), Tom van der Lee (GroenLinks, chairman), Judith Tielen (VVD), Peter Kwint (SP) and Hülya Kat (D66). Anne Kuik (CDA) is not in the picture, she is on maternity leave

The first week’s interrogation will take place from Monday 27 June to Friday 1 July. This is expected to provide an overview of what gas extraction has meant for the Netherlands. The second interrogation period is between Monday 29 August and Friday 14 October. During these interrogations, all aspects of gas extraction, damage and damage management and the reinforcement operation are discussed in more detail and in more detail. The committee will hear a total of 70 witnesses and experts.

  • See the interrogation plan for the first interrogation week and read more about Groningen’s parliamentary inquiry committee on natural gas extraction on the committee side.

First week of interrogation

In the first week of the inquiry, the committee of inquiry will interview twelve people about the nature, seriousness, extent and persistent problems in Groningen. Experience with and factual knowledge of gas extraction is also discussed. To this end, victims, scientists, leaders of Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM) and Shell, officials and a former minister are being questioned.

Different topics

The interrogation week starts on Monday 27 June with the question: how extensive is the gas problem for the people of Groningen? On Tuesday, a number of scientists who have already researched the relationship between gas extraction and earthquakes in the 1990s will have their say. What signals did they give, and what was done with those signals? Wednesday is dominated by cooperation between the Dutch state and the oil companies. What interests are involved and how is the interaction? On Thursday, the relationship between NAM as a producer of the gas and Shell as a shareholder in NAM will be further explored. Who really decides how much gas is extracted? What is the relationship with the Ministry of Finance? On Friday, special attention is paid to the life and well-being of the people of Groningen.

Thorough examination

In almost sixty years, natural gas extraction has gone from a success story to a headache. Natural gas extraction has started to play an important role in the Dutch energy supply and has also generated a lot of extra revenue for the Netherlands. But the dark sides, the earthquakes and the many victims in Groningen now often dominate the picture. How did this come about? The Commission of Inquiry, set up on 9 February 2021, is conducting a thorough investigation of all these developments.

Truth finding and insight

The purpose of this committee is to find the truth and to gain insight into decision-making on natural gas extraction, damage settlement and reinforcement in Groningen. This makes it possible to form judgments over a period of sixty years and to gain experience. In this way, the committee’s work contributes to the future prospects of Groningen and the development of future policy.

What is a parliamentary inquiry?

A parliamentary inquiry is the heaviest investigative tool available to the House of Representatives if it wants to conduct its own inquiry. This makes it possible to request written information and documents from the organizations involved and to hear witnesses and experts under oath. Persons convened by the committee must attend.

Follow or attend hearings live

The public hearings will take place in the House of Representatives. All hearings can be followed via the livestream on the House of Representatives’ website and the Debate Direct app. The hearings are open to the public. You can sign up for this from Thursday 23rd June at 10am via this website, the number of seats is very limited. If the gallery is full, a listening room will be made available in the Representatives’ House Building Princess Irenepad 1. You can register for this via the standard registration form.

Leave a Comment