Earlier this week the Dutch House of Representatives adopted a motion to prolong the current moratorium on (onshore) shale gas extraction in the Netherlands with an additional 3 years, until 2023. One of the political parties aimed, unsuccessfully, for a complete ban. The motion relates only to shale gas extraction for commercial purposes and does not include drilling for scientific purposes.

Before the debate, a draft of the Governmental framework subsoil(Structuurvisie Ondergrond) of the Commission for Environmental Impact Assessment (Commissie m.e.r.) was leaked. The draft seemed to designate specific locations in the Netherlands for shale gas drilling which caused some confusion.

Following the moratorium, new licenses for shale gas extraction will not be granted and existing licenses will not be prolonged.