Groningen is a giant natural gas field located near Slochteren in the Groningen province in the northeastern part of the Netherlands. Discovered in 1959, it is the largest natural gas field in Europe and the tenth-largest in the world. However, the gas extraction is causing earthquakes. Since 1986, there have been around 1,000 earthquakes in the northeast of the Netherlands caused by the exploitation of the Groningen gas field near Slochteren. The strongest earthquake ever registered in the northeastern province of Groningen had a magnitude of 3.6 and occurred in Huizinge on 16 August 2013.
If the frequency of tremors keeps increasing at this pace, by 2025 the region will be hit by earthquakes daily. While moderate in magnitude, the sheer number of events acts as a physical stressor to living conditions and gives an adverse outlook long term on structural integrity of homes and buildings.
Hopper Engineering and Consultancy is involved in the seismic assessment and the retrofit design of several buildings in the Groningen Province.