The Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM) wants to stop discharging waste water in Twente within three years. The company confirmed this on Wednesday. In a council meeting in the municipality of Dinkelland, where local news channel RTV East Tuesday evening was present, said board member Simon Vroemen that leaving Twente has “great urgency” for NAM. After leaving Twente, the waste water will from now on be returned to the ground in Drenthe.
The waste water is a by-product of the Drenthe oil extraction in Schoonebeek. It is currently transported to Twente via an underground pipeline, where it is injected into an unused lawn. Now the NAM declares that “support for this activity in the Twente region is declining sharply”, and that the water injection should therefore take place in the region where the water also comes from the ground. Because the permit for the move to Drenthe has not yet been completed, NAM gives itself three years to leave Twente.
Steam is used in the oil extraction in Schoonebeek, which makes the oil more liquid, making it easier to extract. The water that is left over contains toxic chemicals. According to the NAM, they do not end up in the water of residents, but residents of Twente who have united, among other things, in citizens’ initiative Stop Afvalwater Twente, don’t worry about it. At the end of 2021, NAM temporarily stopped water injection after a crack was discovered in the outer tube of a well. It later turned out that this crack had been in place since 2017.
In December, a majority of the House of Representatives already supported a motion about immediately suspending the discharge of waste water by the NAM in Twente. At the time, outgoing Minister of Economic Affairs Stef Blok advised against the motion, because he could not simply revoke the company’s license.
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