UK govt, Centrica in talks to reopen Rough gas storage
The UK government is in talks with energy group Centrica on reopening the Rough gas storage facility, the BBC reported on May 30.
Rough, a depleted gas field off the east coast of England, was capable of storing over 3.3bn m3 of gas prior to its closure in 2017, after the UK government refused to provide Centrica with subsidies to keep it open. The facility had accounted for around 70% of the UK's gas storage capacity, able to cover the country's demand for approximately nine days.
Current discussions with Centrica are taking place as part of preparations for a "reasonable worst case scenario," in which Russia cuts off all gas supply to Europe, the BBC reported. Russia has already cut off supply to Bulgaria, Finland and Poland, after they refused to comply with a Kremlin decree demanding payment for gas in rubles.
The UK government is also considering extending the life of the country's last remaining coal-fired power plants as part of the contingency plan, as well as the Hinkley Point B nuclear power station. The UK gets only a miniscule amount of gas from Russia, but a disruption in supply to the EU would have a knock-on effect, resulting in supply getting diverted to the rest of the continent from Norway and other suppliers to the UK.