Natural gas field Wildervank

HDR picture of the natural gas field of Wildervank in Groningen, The Netherlands. This is the biggest gas field of Eruope.
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This is station Wildervank of the Groningen natural gas field. Discovered in 1959, it’s the biggest field in whole of Europe. It measures 900 square kilometers and is located 3km down in the ground. The layer is 100 meters thick. Since it’s the discovery it has landed the Dutch treasure chest 211 billion euros and it’s been the main financier of our welfare state.

On the down side, leaving a gap in the soil causes earthquakes, a couple of hundred every year. There is still one third of the gas left but the people of Groningen are fed up with it. It causes scare but there’s also pressure on their property values. If you think that with all the cash flow coming in, the government and the NAM (the company that’s responsible for extracting the gas) are generously compensating the people of Groningen, well, think twice.

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