UK biggest gas storage site on course to reopen by autumn in race to beat Russia

Five years after being closed, a rough storage facility will reopen. However, people could face higher energy bills to pay for it.

After granting a new license, regulators in Britain have moved to allow the largest British gas storage site to reopen. This is an important step forward in Western efforts to reduce dependence on Russian gas.

The North Sea Transition Authority has approved Centrica to store gas at the Rough Storage Site off Yorkshire’s coast, five years after it was closed down for being uneconomic.

Although there are some hopes that the facility will reopen as soon as this fall, ministers are still in discussions with Centrica about financial support. This could lead to a levy being added to consumer bills, which would increase the cost of living.

The Russian restriction on gas flows to Europe has prompted efforts to reopen this site.

Yesterday, the EU instructed member states to reduce their gas consumption by 15% in order to avoid winter rationing or blackouts.

Moscow resumed flow through the Nordstream 1 pipeline Thursday after it was shut down for maintenance. This dispelled fears that it might not restart.


According to the latest figures, Russian gas was flowing to Germany at approximately 40pc capacity between 7 am-8 am. This is roughly the same level as before maintenance began.

Klaus Mueller, the German network regulator, wrote on Twitter that there was no reason to give the all-clear due to the missing 60% and political instability.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, stated Wednesday that a complete cut-off is “a likely scenario” sometime this winter.

Although the UK receives little gas from Russia directly, it is still exposed to knock-on effects of Europe’s market, including rising prices.

Rough, located 18 miles from the coast of Yorkshire, can store up to 100bn cubic yards of gas. Rough was responsible for 70 percent of Britain’s storage capacities before its closure in 2017.

According to the NSTA, Rough will need additional regulatory approvals before it is allowed to reopen.

Image CREDIT: Centrica

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