Centrica has announced that the Rough offshore storage facility, the UK’s largest gas store, will not reopen. The site has reached the end of its life and in any case, its owner said, reopening the store would not be economic.
The site had been closed for safety checks and Centrica says it has concluded that it “cannot safely return the assets and facilities to injection and storage operations”.
The company had already announced that it would not be able to inject more gas until late next year, and although it expected to be able to extract some gas this winter technically, in practice there would have been little in store to be accessed. System Operator National Grid Gas has allowed for zero gas from the Rough site this winter in its first winter outlook for 2017/18, but it said other imports would take up the slack.
Centrica said it would recover as much as possible of the site’s ‘cushion’ gas (otherwise permanently retained), which it estimates at 183bcf. The UK uses around 2,500bcf of gas annually.