In 2020, the Groningen field was still rocked by 69 quakes, 16 of which had a magnitude of 1.5 or higher. In 2019 there were 87 earthquakes, in 2018 there were 90 quakes. The downward trend in the number of earthquakes in recent years has therefore now stagnated, according to the KNMI.
Also natural earthquakes
The seismic moment, which represents the released energy, was also higher last year than in 2020. According to the KNMI, this is mainly due to the earthquake at Garrelsweer. Furthermore, on October 4 there were three earthquakes in one day in Groningen: two near Zeerijp and one near Appingedam.
In total, the Netherlands experienced 95 earthquakes last year. Twenty of these were so-called natural earthquakes in the south of the country. These quakes are not related to human activity, but are the result of the sliding of tectonic plates. Eighteen of those natural earthquakes occurred in Limburg and two in North Brabant.
More gas extraction in Groningen
Former minister Stef Blok (Economic Affairs) announced last week that twice as much gas from the Groningen field may be needed in the coming gas year. According to the government, this is because a factory that is supposed to make foreign gas suitable for domestic consumption is ready later than planned. A higher than expected demand from Germany also plays a role. It led to great anger among Groningers, but also among politicians.