Sunday, 7 April 2013

Britain's biggest gas storage runs out of normal supply

Following up on my post on Friday, here's a report from Reuters with more details:

Britain's biggest gas storage site ran dry of normal supply on Friday and is using gas usually reserved for the technical operation of the site, National Grid data showed.

Unusually cold weather in Britain has boosted gas consumption, forcing the Rough storage site off Scotland's east coast to take the unusual step of dipping into its so-called cushion or base gas.
What's very useful is that they got some figures out of Centrica on how much of this 'cushion gas' can actually be extracted:
"There is potentially an additional 1.1 TWh (terawatt hours) (100 million cubic metres) that could be produced from the Rough reservoir below this opening stock level... The opening stock published by National Grid may ultimately be at -1 TWh)," Rough operator Centrica said in a regulatory update on Friday.

They finish up by saying:
Gas traders said next week a planned strike by workers on Norway's offshore gas fields could hurt gas flows to Britain.

Supply could also be impacted by unplanned outages because of technical problems that are a regular occurrence in the vast network of gas platforms and pipelines that crisscross the North Sea.

However forecasted milder weather and two deliveries of LNG to Britain due next week could take pressure off prices, traders said.
So, we can draw a further 100mcm, or 1,100 GWh out of Rough below 'zero'. By 6am on Sat 6 April 2013 we'd already drawn 290 of these GWh of gas out of there, as shown by this screenshot taken from the Prevailing View page:

Thankfully it's warming up now, because soon this store really will be empty... The problem, and cost, of refilling it in time for next winter still remains though...


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