EDINBURGH -- Detailed engineering is under way on the $970 million Gateway gas storage facility, due to be built in the East Irish Sea off northwest England. Operator Gateway Storage Company has contracted AMEC, Parsons Brinckerhoff, and Senergy for front-end engineering design (FEED) for both the offshore and onshore components of the 1.5 bcm subsurface storage scheme.
This program will support a commitment to start tendering of construction contracts later in 2010, with a view to offering gas storage services for the UK market in 2014. According to Gateway, the new facility will add storage equivalent to around 30% of current UK storage capacity, providing around five days of Britain’s average gas demand.
Gateway plans to build the facilities in salt caverns around 750 m (2,460 ft) beneath the surface of the seabed, 15 mi (24 km) offshore the Cumbrian coast, south west of the port of Barrow-in-Furness. The complex will be connected to the UK’s National Gas Transmission System via a new pipeline to a gas compression station adjacent to the Morecambe field gas terminals at Barrow.
AMEC’s remit includes offshore installations, pipelines, the onshore compression station at the Morecambe terminals and the connections into the National Grid. Parsons Brinckerhoff will advise Gateway on design and construction of the salt caverns, while Senergy will focus on the offshore infrastructure, installation, logistics and well designs. The project team is based in Aberdeen.
Gateway Storage secured consent from the UK government and Barrow Council for its plans during 2007-08. The company is managed by Edinburgh-based Stag Energy. Stag, formed in 2002, claims to have wide-ranging experience of managing the development, construction, and operations of gas storage and power generation projects in the UK and overseas.
According to the British Geological Survey, in a report commissioned by the government, numerous UK offshore areas are suitable for salt caverns, including the Irish Sea and the Southern North Sea.