The Groningen Natural Gas Investigation Commission begins public hearings

June 21 2022

The Parliamentary Inquiry Committee on Natural Gas Extraction in Groningen will begin the first week of public hearings on Monday 27 June. Committee Chairman Tom van der Lee announced the questioning schedule on Wednesday, June 22nd. All sessions can be followed live on this website and the Debate Direct app.

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

The first week of interrogation will run from Monday 27 June to Friday 1 July. This is expected to give an outline of what it means to extract gas for the Netherlands. The second interrogation period is between Monday 29 August and Friday 14 October. During these interrogations, all aspects of gas extraction, spoilage, damage and the boosting process are discussed in greater detail and in greater detail. The Commission will hear a total of 70 witnesses and experts.

  • See the interrogation schedule for the first week of interrogation and read more about the Groningen Parliamentary Inquiry into Natural Gas on the commission’s page.

The first week of interrogation

In the first week of interrogation, the commission of inquiry will interview twelve people about the nature, severity, extent and persistence of the problems in Groningen. Experience and real-world knowledge of gas extraction were also discussed. For this purpose, victims, scientists, executives of the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM), Shell, civil servants and a former minister are questioned.

different topics

The questioning week begins on Monday 27 June with the question: How wide is the gas problem for the residents of Groningen? On Tuesday, a number of scientists who have already done research into the relationship between gas extraction and earthquakes in the 1990s will have their say. What signals did they give and what was done with these signals? Wednesday, it overshadowed the cooperation between the Dutch state and oil companies. What interests are involved and how do they interact? On Thursday, the relationship between the NAM as a gas producer and Shell as a shareholder in the NAM will be explored. Who determines how much gas is extracted? How does the relationship with the Ministry of Economic Affairs look like? On Fridays there is a special interest in the life and well-being of Groningen residents.

comprehensive investigation

In just under sixty years, natural gas extraction has turned from a success story into a headache. Natural gas extraction began to play an important role in the Dutch energy supply, and also brought in a lot of additional income for the Netherlands. But the dark sides, earthquakes and the many victims in Groningen now often dominate the picture. How did it come to this? The investigative committee, which was set up on February 9, 2021, is conducting a thorough investigation into all these developments.

Seeking truth and insight

The objective of this commission is to find the truth and gain insight into the decision-making process regarding natural gas extraction, damage settlement and reinforcements in Groningen. This makes it possible to make judgments over sixty years and to draw lessons. In this way, the work of the commission contributes to the future prospects of Groningen and the development of future policy.

What is a parliamentary inquiry?

The Parliamentary Inquiry is the heaviest investigative tool that the House of Representatives has if it wants to conduct its own investigation. This makes it possible to request written information and documents from the organizations concerned and to hear witnesses and experts under oath. Persons summoned by the committee are requested to attend.

Follow up or attend the hearings live

Public sessions are held in the investigation hall of the House of Representatives. All sessions can be followed live on the House website and the Debat Direct app. Sessions are open to the public. You can register for this from Thursday 23rd June at 10am via this site, the number of places is very limited. If the public exhibition is full, a hearing room will be provided in the Houses of Parliament on Prinses Irenepad 1. You can register for this through the regular registration form.

Watch this video also about the public hearings of the Commission of Inquiry

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