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Dutch to Close EU's Biggest Gas Field to Limit Tremors

  • Production has been restricted since 2014 after earthquakes
  • Output to decline by two-thirds by 2022, halt by 2030
Natural gas extraction machinery and pipework in Groningen, Netherlands, on June 29, 2017

Natural gas extraction machinery and pipework in Groningen, Netherlands, on June 29, 2017

Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg
Updated on

Fifty-five years after starting natural gas production from Europe’s biggest field, the Netherlands have signed its death warrant.

Output from the Groningen deposit will be cut by two-thirds from the year starting October 2022 and halt by 2030 to ensure the safety of people in the province of the same name after earthquakes linked to extraction, Economy Minister Eric Wiebes said Thursday. The specific type of gas from the field is used by millions of households and thousands of businesses in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and France.