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Centrica to double Rough storage capacity

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Picture of Cyann Fielding

Cyann Fielding

Journalist at Tank Storage Magazine.
Sea gas rig

Following further engineering work and investment, Centrica has announced it is increasing gas storage capacity at Rough, the UK’s largest gas storage facility.

Further investment means Rough will now be able to store up to 1.5 billion m³ of gas, boosting the UK’s energy resilience for the coming winter. This increase would provide the equivalent volume of gas to heat 2.4 m homes over winter.

‘Rough can help our energy system by storing natural gas when there is a surplus and producing this gas when the country needs it during cold snaps and peak demand,’ says Chris O’Shea, Centrica Group CEO.

He adds: ‘The resilience of the UK’s energy system needs to be substantially improved. We are delighted to play our part by further expanding the UK’s gas storage capacity. Rough is not a silver bullet for energy security, but it plays a critical role in increasing capacity and supply confidence over the winter months. Rough can help our energy system by storing natural gas when there is a surplus and producing this gas when the country needs it during cold snaps and peak demand.

‘We stand ready to invest £2 billion (€2.3 billion) to repurpose the Rough field into the world’s biggest methane and hydrogen storage facility, bolstering the UK’s energy security, delivering a net zero electricity system by 2035, creating 5,000 skilled jobs and decarbonising the UK’s industrial clusters by 2040. But to do this we need the right regulatory support framework.  This world class North Sea asset has the potential to help the UK economy return to a position of being a net exporter of energy once again.’

The facility, which is 18 miles off the coast of East Yorkshire, stopped storing gas in 2017 but was re-opened for gas storage in October 2022. Rough now provides half of the UK’s total gas storage.

Centrica’s long-term ambition is to turn the Rough gas field into the largest long duration low carbon energy storage facility in the world, capable of storing both natural gas and hydrogen.

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