AMSTERDAM Jan 17 The Dutch cabinet is meeting
to discuss whether to cut production at the huge Groningen gas
field, a spokesman for Economics Minister Henk Kamp said on
Friday, and a decision may be announced as soon as this
The gas field near Slochteren in the north of the country is
one of the world's largest, operated by a joint venture between
Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil called
Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij BV (NAM).
Discovered in 1959, the Groningen gas field produced 53.8
billion cubic meters in 2013 and was expected to continue to
pump natural gas for at least another 50 years.
Local media, citing anonymous sources, said the cabinet was
considering slashing production to 42.5 billion cubic meters
this year and next, representing a cut of 21 percent compared to
Local residents and some politicians have called for a halt
or review of gas extraction in Groningen province following a
series of earth tremors, some of which cracked buildings.
The Netherlands earns about 12 billion euros ($16.3 billion)
a year from the sale of gas from Groningen, according to the