June 7, 2018 / 7:43 AM / in 12 days

Dutch gov't says faster gas output cuts at Groningen may be possible

AMSTERDAM, June 7 (Reuters) - The Dutch government thinks it may be able to reduce gas production at the Groningen natural gas field to less than 12 billion cubic metres (bcm) by October 2020, the economic affairs minister said in a letter to parliament on Thursday.

Eric Wiebes wrote that a plan to build extra capacity to convert high-caloric foreign gas to the low-caloric gas needed for the Dutch network could be ready in 2021.

Reductions in German demand and purchases of nitrogen to mix with foreign gas could help reach the target a year earlier.

In March, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the government aimed to end all production in Groningen by 2030 due to the damaging earthquakes it causes.

The country’s official plan for production this year is 21.6 bcm, but current levels suggest actual output will be lower. (Reporting by Toby Sterling; editing by Jason Neely)

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