According to a story in the Telegraph, the Italian oil company Eni has been given permission to develop a gas storage facility in the North Sea. At about 4.6 billion cubic metres, it will roughly double the UK's gas storage capacity.
This is exactly the kind of thing we need as the North Sea gas output continues to plummet year after year, but it's worth bearing in mind that:
- Eni might not be in a hurry to develop it, given the economic situation.
- If it goes ahead, it still won't be ready until 2015, by which time our indigenous gas production will have fallen another 20% or so.
- If it goes ahead, we still have to import the gas, which assumes that there is enough available in the market, and that we can afford it.
- If it goes ahead, it will still only give us 20 days supply of peak winter demand.