UK explores gas storage issue

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is exploring whether international businesses can partner with British firms to improve gas storage in the UK.

Offshore staff

LONDON -- UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is exploring whether international businesses can partner with British firms to improve gas storage in the UK.

This week, UKTI is bringing together gas storage operators from Australia, Norway, and the US on a three-day mission to the UK. They will meet British companies and explore a range of opportunities, including partnering with existing operators on both onshore and offshore projects, new engineering and design work, and supply chain development.

In London, they will attend a one-day seminar, co-sponsored by Deloitte, where they will be addressed by Chris Murray, director of UK transmissions at the National Grid.
Since the 1970s, the UK has relied on gas from the UK continental shelf, primarily extracted from the North Sea. However, production is declining on average by 7% each year, while gas demand is rising, UKTI says. It is predicted that 80% of the UK’s gas will be imported by 2015.

At present, the UK can only store around 4% of its annual gas consumption. This compares to Germany and France, which have the capacity to cover over 20% of their needs, according to the organization.

"The UK gas storage market should be lucrative for innovative energy companies,” says Andrew Knights, senior manager at Deloitte’s petroleum services group. “There is room for new entrants as although gas storage volumes have only grown by a third in the last ten years, the UK still has substantially lower gas storage capacity in both volume and percentage of annual demand when compared with parts of mainland Europe.

10/12/2009

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