Loss Of Gas Storage Site Will Increase UK's Reliance On Imports

Jay Anderson
June 20, 2017

Britain's biggest natural gas storage site under the North Sea will be permanently shut by operator Centrica following repeated outages as failing wells prevent the facility's safe restart, Centrica said on Tuesday.

Centrica, the United Kingdom energy group which owns British Gas, said it had concluded that its Rough storage facility off the Yorkshire coast could no longer be operated safely because of failures in its ageing wells.

The 32 year-old site off the coast of Yorkshire had capacity to meet a tenth of the UK's peak winter gas needs.

Rough's original 3.8bn m maximum working storage space (not including cushion gas) represented about 70% of United Kingdom storage capacity.

One possible option was to return the facility to injection and storage operations. "As we have seen from recent events", a spokesperson said,"this not only has a negative economic impact for the United Kingdom and consequences for global emissions consequences, but is also politically risky when it comes to ensuring our security of supply".

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Centrica Storage, part of Centrica, which owns British Gas, said that refurbishing the site and replacing the wells was no longer economically viable.

Analysts and traders have largely accepted this sanguine view.

Operational since 1985, the Rough facility is now the only depleted United Kingdom offshore gas field reservoir that is used for gas storage and retrieval.

Centrica said it aimed to extract all recoverable gas from Rough - estimated at about 5bn cubic metres - before plugging its wells, a process expected to take several years.

Other reports by BadHub

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