The Dutch government decided on August 26 to postpone its decision on shale gas exploration in the Netherlands until mid-2014.

According to a technical report, presented by Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp (of the liberal VVD), the risks associated with shale gas extraction in the Netherlands would be “less significant and controllable”. However, as a concession to the PvdA (Labour Party) which is a member of the ruling coalition, Kamp has decided to “first organise an extensive discussion with the local population and local politicians.”

The government is also awaiting a report on the environmental impact of shale gas extraction, which is to be presented next month.