A view of a gas production plant is seen in 't Zand in Groningen February 24, 2015. REUTERS/Michael Kooren
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A decision to close Europe's biggest natural gas field is starting to raise concerns about the impact on the region's biggest trading hub for the fuel. The Dutch Title Transfer Facility has grown into Europe's largest gas market in the past few years, surpassing the U.K., partly because of the scale of flows converging in the Netherlands.A plan to shut down production at the Groningen field in the northeast corner of the Netherlands will make the nation dependent on imported gas. After earthquakes caused by the earth settling as gas drained from the Groningen reservoir, the Dutch government has ordered the field to shut down gradually by 2030 . Five years ago, GasTerra handled more than a fifth of all the gas produced in Europe. As Groningen ramps down, the Netherlands is becoming more reliant on its so-called small fields to meet export obligations, most of which are in the final phase of their production cycle and produce gas that's too rich to be pumped directly into the region's networks.
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