Quakes force Dutch to end gas extraction in northern region

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch government has decided to end gas extraction in its northern Groningen region after it proved essential in lowering the risk of damage from small earthquakes.

The Dutch cabinet said Thursday the maximum yield must be halved by 2022 or earlier, with more cuts later leading to “zero” extraction.

The lucrative Groningen gas field is one of the world’s largest natural gas reserves but extraction has led to hundreds of small quakes that damaged thousands of homes.

Shutting off the gas field is complicated since homes and industries across the nation depend on it.

The gas is extracted by a joint venture between Shell and ExxonMobil that has to foot the bill for the damage.

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