Gas demand in the UK has been primarily met by indigenous gas production from the United Kingdom Continental Shelf (UKCS) but in recent years the UKCS production has been declining and imports have been rising to meet demand. Furthermore, with a Government drive to increase renewable electricity generation from wind power, there will be a greater reliance on gas to power back up generators in times of low wind. Alternative fuels such as LNG are subject to the world market which could make prices volatile and put security of supply at risk, particularly at times of high demand.
Taking these factors into consideration, gas storage offers a relatively simple solution to ensuring security of supply and keeping fuel cost stable for the consumer.
There are several options for gas storage in the UK, of which storage in salt cavities is the most attractive from a reliability and cost perspective.
Some gas storage options are outlined as follows:
- Salt cavity storage - 4 potential areas: East Yorkshire, Cheshire, Dorset and Preesall in Lancashire.
- Water aquifers - no projects being considered in the UK due to the potential of depleted gas fields and salt strata.
- Offshore depleted gas fields - limited number due to high capital costs compared to onshore fields.
- Onshore depleted gas fields - capital costs are lower, gas is closer to market, closer to the NTS and able to use existing assets.
- LNG storage - no plans to develop this due to excessively high capital and operating costs, with proportional CO2 emissions.
CNG Services Ltd have worked on several gas storage projects and have expertise in giving support with concept, planning and Need Cases (an example of our gas storage Need Case can be found via the Articles & Reports page). Contact us for more information.