Matt Osborne, principal risk manager at energy consultant Inenco, said:
“The news that Centrica Storage Limited intends to make all relevant applications to permanently end Rough’s status as a storage facility is disappointing.
“The UK remains reliant on gas, and this will continue well into the future. We are a net importer of gas, via pipelines from other countries. This vulnerability makes it essential to store as much gas as possible within the UK – and a strong plan of action will be required to compensate for the loss of Rough, the largest flexible gas storage facility in the UK. Britain has seven other major gas storage sites but they offer shorter injection and withdrawal times and less stock.
“We anticipate that the decision to close Rough will create uncertainty in terms of energy pricing. Though we haven’t seen a material impact on prices yet – most probably because there is still a significant amount of recoverable gas in the field, which could last for years – the pressure could come in the winter months, especially if we experience very cold conditions.”