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Dutch to cut gas output to reduce earthquake risk

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -- The Netherlands will reduce production of its Groningen gas field by 10% from October to limit the risk of earthquakes, the country's economy minister said in a letter to parliament on Tuesday.

Output has been cut several times from 53.9 Bcm in 2013 to 24 Bcm as criticism mounted that Dutch authorities had failed to adequately assess the risk to citizens from earthquakes caused by production at Europe's biggest field.

The Dutch state agency overseeing the industry said on Tuesday that production might need to be cut, but that the threshold for action had not yet been crossed.

Minister Henk Kamp said in his letter to parliament that he did not want to wait until taking further action and would cut production by 10% from October 1.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop and Robert-Jan Bartunek


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FEATURED COLUMNS

Editorial comment
-Adrienne Blume
Large-scale production of shale gas in the US, which began around the turn of the century, is now feeding US exports in the form of LNG.
Regional focus
-Eugene Gerden
Annual demand for natural gas in the EU is pegged at approximately 380 Bm3y–450 Bm3y. A portion of this demand is met by regional production within the EU. However, the European energy system is beset by challenges that are impacting EU gas supply.


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