Economic affairs minister Henk Kamp has agreed to again reduce the volume of natural gas extracted from underneath Groningen, this time to 16.5 billion cubic metres in the first six months of this year.
The move is an effort to offset mounting opposition to gas extraction in the province because of the damage caused by earthquakes. The quakes occur as the ground settles in areas where the gas has been removed.
Local politicians have threatened the government with legal action over the gas extraction with just five weeks to go before the crucial provincial elections. Kamp’s own party, the right-wing Liberal VVD, has also called for a rethink.
Kamp’s decision to cut gas supplies again means some 35 billion cubic metres is likely to be extracted this year, down 4.4 billion cubic metres on his earlier plans.
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