Dutch to reduce gas production due to earthquakes

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Associated Press

Posted on January 17, 2014 at 9:01 AM

AMSTERDAM (AP) — The Dutch Cabinet has decided to reduce the amount of gas produced from fields that lie under the country's northernmost province, as the mining has caused earthquakes and damaged houses in the region.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the decision Friday without specifying exactly how much production will be reduced. He said that studies had shown beyond a doubt that the gas production did cause earthquakes. Although small, the quakes have led to "material and emotional" damages for residents in Groningen.

The Cabinet has promised to pay 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion) in damages over the coming five years. More important for the country's national finances will be how much gas production will be cut: the state earns around 12 billion euros annually from the exploitation of the fields.

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