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Shell-Exxon venture reports natural gas discovery

The Associated Press January 9, 2012, 2:45PM ET

AMSTERDAM

A joint venture between Shell and Exxon says it has successfully drilled a significant new onshore natural gas field in the Netherlands.

Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij BV says in a statement the field contains 4 billion cubic meters of gas, about enough to supply 2.5 million households for a year. Production is due to begin this summer, the company says.

The Metslawier-zuid well, 3,900 meters (12,800 feet) deep, is located near the city of Dokkum, 130 kilometers (80 miles) northeast of Amsterdam.

Most Dutch natural gas reserves are stored in a single field in the province of Groningen. But 40 percent comes from smaller fields on land and offshore, such as the field announced Monday.

The Dutch state owns a 40 percent stake in Metslawier-zuid.

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