February 8, 2019 / 3:08 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Groningen gas production falling faster than planned -Dutch gov't

(Adds background, more detail)

AMSTERDAM, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Gas production at the Groningen field in the north of the Netherlands is falling faster than planned, the Dutch government said on Friday.

Output at the field will fall to 15.9 billion cubic metres (bcm) in the year ending October 2020, the government said, which is 1.5 bcm lower than originally planned.

The Dutch government last year said it would end production by 2030 and lower it as quickly as possible in coming years, as decades of extraction have led to a series of damaging earthquakes in the region.

Demand for Groningen gas is falling as exports to Germany decline, while the Dutch increase purchases of nitrogen to mix with imported gas.

Production in the field, operated by a Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil joint venture, is set to drop to 19.4 billion cubic metres (bcm) this year, down from a 2013 peak of 54 bcm.

It is expected to fall below 12 bcm by 2022.

Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Louise Heavens

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