Bains storage application sanctioned

Barrow Borough Council has approved Centrica’s planning application to develop an offshore gas storage facility in the Irish Sea off northwest England.

Offshore staff

BARROW, UK -- Barrow Borough Council has approved Centrica’s planning application to develop an offshore gas storage facility in the Irish Sea off northwest England.

By 2012, the Bains gas field will have been converted to transfer gas from the UK’s national transmission grid, during periods of low demand, into sub-seabed rock strata.

In peak periods, the gas will be pumped back into the grid via a processing station within the existing South Morecambe gas terminal at Rampside near Barrow.

This project is one of several under review to raise the UK’s modest gas storage capacity, with Britain projected to be increasingly dependent on imported supplies.

According to Furness Enterprise, which supported the application, the Bains project will create over 130 construction jobs. Barrow, it adds, has the UK’s largest gas processing facility with spare capacity to take in fresh discoveries or new field developments in the East Irish Sea.

The Bains site will be around one-fifth the size of the Rough facility in the southern North Sea, Britain’s largest gas storage site, with capacity to hold up to 20 bcf.

Bains, 5 mi (8 km) northeast of Centrica’s giant South Morecambe field, will be connected to the terminal at Barrow via a new 20-mi (32-km) pipeline. A new unmanned platform will be needed to handle the dual injection/production needs – Furness claims that the characteristics of the Bains reservoir are strongly suited to switching roles at short notice.

06/17/2009

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