Gas Storage in Great Britain
During the last decade any discussion of Great Britain’s natural gas security of supply has touched on the issue of the adequacy, or otherwise, of underground storage capacity. Simplistic comparisons with neighbouring continental European national gas markets are questionable due to the differing pace of market liberalisation, changing demand and supply patterns and the availability of other forms of flexibility. The ‘right’ level of storage has been an elusive quantity, still less the appropriate means by which it can be brought into existence.
Chris Le Fevre’s paper provides a thorough and comprehensive review of gas storage in Great Britain covering the practicalities of storage, the evolution of the UK storage sector and the attendant debate on security of supply. The paper examines the role of storage and other sources of flexibility in recent winter periods and the factors which will determine future flexibility needs. The suite of potential storage projects is described together with a realistic assessment of the barriers and challenges to their successful implementation. In addressing these issues Chris considers the UK’s situation in the context of increasing infrastructure linkages to the European continent and to the world LNG market.