AMSTERDAM, April 20 A Dutch court said on
Thursday it had ordered prosecutors to open a criminal
investigation into responsibility for earthquakes triggered by
gas production at the country's large gas field in Groningen.
The Leeuwaarden-Arnhem Appeals Court directed prosecutors to
open an investigation, saying they had not looked carefully
enough at whether a crime could be proved. Prosecutors had
previously declined to act, arguing it was a civil matter.
NAM, a joint venture between Shell and Exxon that operates
production at Groningen, has accepted responsibility for damage
caused to buildings and structures across the region by the
relatively small quakes.
(Reporting by Toby Sterling, editing by David Evans)