The UK’s gas storage capacity is set to rise by 15% after the Government today gave the go ahead, following a public inquiry, for WINGAS Storage to convert its Saltfleetby onshore gas field into an underground gas storage facility.
Saltfleetby in Lincolnshire is the UK’s largest onshore gas field and will provide between 700 million to 800 million cubic metres of new gas storage capacity.
Energy Minister Charles Hendry said:
“This new project will provide the UK with new and much-needed gas storage.
“As the UK becomes increasingly dependent on imported gas, this Government has made it a priority to ensure secure gas supplies.
“We will introduce measures in the Energy Security and Green Economy Bill to encourage not only more gas storage, but greater gas import capacity to help ensure that our market will deliver gas when it is needed.”
Gas storage helps to meet seasonal and short-term peaks in demand as well as to respond to price volatility.
The Saltfleetby project would take natural gas from the National Transmission System at Theddlethorpe when demand for gas is low and then transport it via a pipeline to a new Gas Storage Facility at Grayfleet East. The gas would then be compressed and injected into the partially depleted reservoir some 2.3km below ground level, where it could subsequently be withdrawn at times of high gas demand and returned via pipeline to the National Transmission System.
Notes for editors
WINGAS GmbH is a joint venture of Wintershall (65%) and the Russian company OAO Gazprom (35%).
Construction and drilling operations for the project would take between 30 and 36 months.
Copies of the Inspector’s report, decision letters and other consent documentation are available from DECC’s Onshore Consents Team (contact William Long - firstname.lastname@example.org - 0300 068 5694)