Following the submission of its planning application, Centrica plc, the parent company of British Gas, will this week lay out to interested parties and members of the public its plans to convert the Bains gas field, in the East Irish Sea, into a dedicated seasonal storage facility nearly one fifth the size of Rough, the UK's largest gas storage site.
If the proposed development progresses, the facility could be available to come online for gas production and injection in the winter of 2012, with a storage capacity of up to 20 billion cubic feet (bcf).
The Bains project proposes to convert the existing partly depleted Bains field, 5 miles north east of Centrica's South Morecambe field, to a storage facility with a dedicated twenty mile pipeline to the Barrow onshore terminal. A new unmanned platform and additional gas processing facilities within the existing South Morecambe Terminal would be required. Reservoir characteristics of the existing Bains field indicate a storage facility could offer significant flexibility to inject and produce gas at short notice.
Over a period of 5 months a full Environmental Impact Assessment has been carried out looking at many issues including areas such as marine ecology and ornithology, socioeconomic impacts, and coastal processes. Centrica sought the views of key interested parties during its scoping consultations, giving them the opportunity to comment on and influence the nature and type of environmental studies to be carried out.
John Woodings, Bains Onshore Project Manager for Centrica, said: "We believe Bains has real potential as a new gas storage facility, being close to existing gas production infrastructure and having the right reservoir characteristics.
"As the UK becomes increasingly reliant on imported gas and flexibility from North Sea fields declines in the coming years, investing in much needed storage facilities, which will boost this country's security of supply, forms part of Centrica's long term programme of investing in a range of gas, power and renewable projects to supply our British Gas customers."
An exhibition providing more information will be manned by key members of the Bains development team at: Forum 28 in Barrow between 10:30 and 3:30 pm on the 1st & 2nd April (2009)