The Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM) successfully and safely closed the ruptured and unreliable injection well ROW-2 in Rossum last weekend. NAM reports this on its own website. In the coming weeks, the derrick will be completed and the surrounding area cleaned. Then (above ground) nothing reminds of the, according to local residents, worrisome situation with which NAM is dealing.
‘Never seen before’
The discovery of a crack in the pipe with which chemically contaminated waste water from oil extraction is injected into the deep soil of Twente caused quite a stir. According to the NAM project leader, fractures of such magnitude in the injection well have never occurred before. The technicians of the oil company were initially puzzled.
The most likely cause has now been identified and NAM has taken measures to prevent the break from leading to leakage or other damage. The controlling government body State Supervision of Mines is now assessing that NAM investigation for accuracy. The assessment of that study is expected in a few months.
100 meter long cement sealing plug
The NAM itself has meanwhile tackled the injection well. To prevent further damage to the deep bottom and to prevent the injection well from being completely inaccessible, the company has plugged the well. The old pipes in the pit have been milled away and a cement fence has been installed at that location over a depth of 100 meters.
According to NAM, this must be enough to prevent gas or water from leaking to the surface. In the coming weeks, the derrick will be completed and the site cleaned up. It is expected that calm will have returned to the Tramweg in Rossum at the beginning of May.
‘Unrest and worry’
But local residents are not convinced of this. In a solid letter to the municipality of Dinkelland, 65 local residents write that there are still concerns about the waste water injection.
Local residents say they experience unrest about safety for humans, animals and the environment. Since the cause of the pipe rupture is still unclear, they are very concerned about the condition of the other injection wells. Three injection wells are still active in the municipality of Dinkelland. In addition, local residents are still concerned about the risks that could possibly arise in the future as a result of the permanent closure of injection well ROW-2.
They write: “All calamities since the 2011 hair that started with the injection (of wastewater-ed.) Indicate that injecting wastewater cannot take place in a one hundred percent safe manner.”
‘Stop waste water injection in Northeast Twente!’
That is why local residents are calling on the municipality to do everything in its power to stop the injections in Northeast Twente altogether. Possibly, the injections could only be resumed when proof has been provided that there is no longer any risk. The letter was signed by 65 people who live in the immediate vicinity of the injection site on Tramweg in Rossum.
“And in our opinion, no one can provide that proof!”
There are also concerns in politics about the injection of wastewater and the broken well pipe in Rossum. Earlier, in a letter to the Minister of Economic Affairs, the municipality of Dinkelland requested that the injection of waste water be stopped. The issue is also followed with suspicion in the Provincial Council. Robert Jansen of GroenLinks: “You previously estimated the risk in Rossum as low-risk, it seems to me that that estimate is now a thing of the past.”