Dutch firm sees surge in gas imports by Europe

The Netherlands' state-controlled natural gas company forecast Western Europe would have to import 47 percent of its natural gas supplies by the year 2000, compared with 14 percent in 1980. The company, Nederlandse Gasunie, said its forecast was based on a new analysis of demand and output data, and offered its huge Groningen field as a reserve to give security of supply.

About 25 percent of future imports will come from the Soviet Union, Gasunie said. West Europe's plans to rely more heavily on Soviet gas have caused concern to the United States, which opposes building of a pipeline to import Siberian gas.

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