Dutch government further reduces production of natural gas in region hit by small earthquakes

IndustriesAssociated Press

The Dutch government is further cutting production of natural gas in the north of the country in an attempt to reduce the number of small earthquakes blamed on the drilling.

Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp announced Tuesday that production in the Groningen region this year will be brought back to 30 billion cubic meters (39.24 billion cubic yards) of gas from the previously announced maximum of 39.4 billion cubic meters (51.53 billion cubic yards).

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Kamp says, "the security of residents of Groningen is our priority."

Some seven million Dutch homes are reliant on gas from the Groningen gas field and the country also sells to Belgium, Germany and France.

Kamp says the reduction will cost the government about 1.2 billion euros ($1.34 billion) in lost revenue.