Vijlbrief speaks to ‘interventionist’ with NAM about sewage water injection in Twente

State Secretary Vijlbrief (Mines) will have ‘in-depth consultations’ with the board of the Petroleum Company (NAM) about the intended resumption of the ground storage of toxic waste water in Twente. He spoke to the House of Representatives.

Vijlbrief was summoned to the House of Representatives by Deputy Omtzigt. The house has long wanted to stop using water injections because of the environmental and environmental hazards. There is also a lot of resistance in Twente itself, supported by comedian Herman Finkers.

NAM has a permit to inject water released during oil extraction in Schoonebeek, Drenthe, into empty gas fields in Twente. Injections have been discontinued since December after irregularities such as very high concentrations of toluene in water were found.

Enhanced surveillance

This is currently under evaluation and NAM expects to resume oil extraction and water injection in June. Vijlbrief agrees with the House that this is only possible “if there is absolutely no doubt about safety”. The State Mine Inspectorate will monitor more closely whether the process is restarted.

Various parties have urged Vijlbrief not to continue the water injections. But according to the State Secretary, this is not possible because the NAM has a license and it cannot be withdrawn just like that.

From Twente to Drenthe

The company recently announced that the injections in Twente will stop at the end of this year. The waste water is then stored near Schoonebeek, where oil extraction also takes place.

Like the House of Representatives, Vijlbrief does not want the question to be moved from Twente to Drenthe. Schoonebeek must have a “circular system” by the beginning of 2024 at the latest. This means that the waste water is thoroughly purified, so that only the substances that come out also end up in the soil.

But the inhabitants of Drenthe are also affected. Vijlbrief promised to be involved in the decision-making process through a consultation procedure.

Source: NOS