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Energy Security Boost as Go-Ahead Given to New Gas Storage Project

Michael Humphries QC

The UK's gas storage capacity is set to rise by 15 per cent after the Government gave the go ahead on 9 September, following a public inquiry, for WINGAS Storage UK Limited to convert its Saltfleetby depleted gas field into an underground gas storage facility.

Saltfleetby in Lincolnshire is the UK's largest onshore gas field and will provide between 700 million to 800 million cubic metres of new gas storage capacity.

Michael Humphries QC from Francis Taylor Building represented and promoted WINGAS and was instructed by Richard Glover, Philip Maude and Julia Dixon from Hammonds LLP.

Gas storage helps to meet seasonal and short-term peaks in demand as well as to respond to price volatility.

The Saltfleetby project would take natural gas from the National Transmission System at Theddlethorpe when demand for gas is low and then transport it via a pipeline to a new Gas Storage Facility at Grayfleet East. The gas would then be compressed and injected into the partially depleted reservoir some 2.3km below ground level, where it could subsequently be withdrawn at times of high gas demand and returned via pipeline to the National Transmission System.

In addition to the Storage Authorisation Order, the Government also confirmed a Compulsory Purchase Order.  The CPO is one of the largest to be confirmed in the UK and includes the acquisition of land as well as surface and sub-surface rights.