Reuters reports that the Dutch government is cutting back on gas production, citing earthquakes as the reason (some peak oilers are speculating they want to lengthen the life of the field to hedge against future supply disruptions) - Dutch to cut output from huge Groningen gas field. Platts says Europe expects to fill the shortfall with additional gas import from Russia.
The Netherlands will cut gas production at Groningen, the largest gas field in western Europe, by about a quarter over the next three years, the Economics Ministry said on Friday, bowing to public concerns over earth tremors in the area.
The decision to cut production will mean lower revenues for the government at a time when it is already struggling to meet the European Union's budget deficit targets, even after years of austerity measures. "The studies showed that there are risks and consequences, including earthquakes," of the gas extraction in Groningen, Prime Minister Mark Rutte told reporters at his weekly press conference before the details were announced. ...
Gas from Groningen is sold mostly to utilities and large industries in the home market, although some gas is piped to Germany, Italy, France and Britain. The gas market has been expecting a decision to cut output, which has already driven up gas prices, analysts said.