Dutch have begun to import more gas than they export - agency

AMSTERDAM, Dec 2 (Reuters) - The Netherlands has begun to import more natural gas than it exports, Statistics Netherlands said on Wednesday, as a result of production cuts at the Groningen gas field, Europe’s largest.

The agency said in a report that the turning point came in May, and it marks the first extended period of time that the country has been a net importer of gas since exploitation began at Groningen in the early 1960s.

The Dutch government has been reducing production at Groningen, which had been expected to be depleted in the 2020s, due to increasingly severe earthquakes.

The agency said Norwegian gas is increasingly being tapped to replace the lower Dutch production. (Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)