Life after Rough
Centrica has confirmed what many had earlier suspected: that the Rough storage site - the UK's only long-range storage facility - will not return to operation and instead permanently close. Henceforth the UK will be without the security and flexibility of supply offered by a large scale storage facility.
Life after Rough – Part 1
How did Rough come to be?
The Rough storage facility started life as a regular North Sea gas field, beginning operation in 1975. British Gas purchased the field in 1980 having already withdrawn one third of the field’s reserves. The company then converted the site into a natural gas storage facility which began operation in 1985. Given the large capacity of the Rough storage facility it operated on a seasonal long-range basis, as opposed to smaller mid-range or short-term facilities. Seasonal storage sites seek to take advantage of a wide variance in gas prices between the summer and winter seasons, created by changes in seasonal demand and the availability of supply flexibility.
Gas within the site comprises of working gas (the volumes which are transferred in and out) and cushion gas. Cushion gas stays in the site to maintain the operating pressure required to allow working gas to be injected and withdrawn. The maximum volume of working gas is around 36TWh. Total cushion gas accounts for an additional 97TWh, of which around 54TWh is classed as recoverable.