Critics argue for Groningen shutdown at Dutch court hearing

|By:, SA News Editor

Angry Dutch residents living near the huge Groningen gas field told a hearing today at the Netherlands' highest court that production should be totally stopped, accusing oil companies of causing minor earthquakes and the government of lying.

The Council of State is holding two days of hearings to consider appeals against a government plan to cut production at the field by an additional 10% starting Oct. 1.

Gas production company NAM, a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM), has accepted responsibility for damage caused by the quakes, for which it is paying more than €1B.

NAM argues against the cut to 21.6B cm/year - down from 53.9B cm as recently as 2013 - saying the decision ignored earlier agreed safety norms.