No Shale Gas Test Drilling Until Completion of Further Studies

A study into possible shale gas sites in the Netherlands should provide greater insights into the prime locations for responsible test drilling. A decision on test drilling will be made only after the results of these studies are known.

Input from local governments and communities

In a letter to the House of Representatives on Wednesday 18 September 2013, Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Henk Kamp announced the study would allow local governments and communities to become involved and informed about opportunities for detecting and extracting shale gas in the Netherlands. Minister Kamp also indicated that sites where test drilling is already planned would be included in the nationwide study.

Sites where safety risks can be most effectively managed

'Some possible locations for test drilling for shale gas have been identified by companies applying for a license. But I want to be able to evaluate all sites in the Netherlands where drilling is possible,' said Minister Kamp. 'Attention can then be focused on those locations that are known to be promising, and how their environmental risks can best be managed.'

Nationwide study

The nationwide study, which will take one and a half years to complete, will provide an insight into the possible effects of shale gas drilling on the environment at potential sites in the Netherlands.

Optimising drilling techniques, mitigating contamination risks

During the study various parties including water companies, the mining sector and the State Supervision of Mines will explore how drilling techniques can be optimised to mitigate risks of contaminating ground and surface water. Applications for licences will only be dealt with once the study is complete. Agreements have been made with companies that have already been granted exploration licences for certain sites to ensure they do not undertake further activities until the study is complete.