We assess and customize safety requirements according to the unique character of each of our business units. In The Netherlands, for example, we carefully monitor both earthquake and subsidence risks.
No production-related seismic activity has ever been recorded on the fields that we operate in The Netherlands, some of which have been in production for over forty years. Nevertheless, we incorporate into our development and production plans the latest independent scientific research and modeling with respect to the probability and potential magnitude of seismicity occurring in relation to our operations. We are cooperating with all levels of government, research institutes and local communities to improve the industry’s understanding and communication on this complex topic.
As part of the production plan approval process, we conduct extensive baseline subsidence measurement surveys and construct detailed subsidence models to estimate the total lifetime subsidence as a result of gas production activities. Once production has commenced, we conduct regular subsidence measurements to ensure gas extraction-related subsidence stays within our modeled expectations. In the event that actual measured subsidence exceeds predictions in a given gas pool, we will conduct more detailed studies and measurement work to determine the appropriate production approach for the remainder of the gas pool life.
While we endeavor to reduce or eliminate impacts to the communities we operate in, if we have caused damages we will ensure they are compensated and corrected. In 2014, Vermilion contributed 3.6 million Euros to a compensation fund related to the Harlingen Upper Cretaceous field in the Province of Friesland. We voluntarily shut in this field in 2008, after we had taken over operatorship in 2004, due to higher than expected levels of subsidence. This field has remained shut in since that time.
Additional information about licensing and permitting in The Netherlands can be found on our Netherlands website.