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Reuters: Groningen gas output fall to prevent earthquake risk ahead of target

UPDATE 1-Groningen gas output fall to prevent earthquake risk ahead of target

FEBRUARY 21, 2020 

* By mid 2022 no need for production in average year

* Groningen was once Europe’s largest onshore gas field 

AMSTERDAM, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Gas production at Groningen in the northern Netherlands can be lowered to 10 billion cubic metres (BCM) this year, the government said on Friday, beating an initial 2020 target to cut output at the field because of earthquake risk.

The Dutch government has said it would lower production at Groningen, once Europe’s largest onshore gas field, as quickly as possible after a series of tremors caused widespread damage to homes and buildings.

Last September, the state brought forward the cut-off date to 2022, eight years earlier than initially planned. A cap on production was set at 11.8 BCM for the 12 months through October 2020.

“A further reduction is possible this year: from the expected 11.8 BCM to 10 BCM,” it said in a statement on Friday.

“By the summer of 2022 there will be no need for production from the Groningen field during an average year.”

Discovered in 1959, the Groningen field – run by Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil joint venture NAM – was one of Europe’s main suppliers of natural gas for decades. Output hit a peak of 88 bcm in 1976.

(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; editing by David Evans and Barbara Lewis)

SOURCE

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