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Natural Gas: Storage

Volume 504: debated on Thursday 21 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether he plans to increase the capacity of the UK's strategic gas reserve in respect of (a) short-term and (b) long-term strategic storage; and if he will make a statement. (310099)

The provision of gas storage capacity is a commercial matter; Great Britain does not have a designated “strategic gas reserve”. National Grid's ‘Gas Transportation Ten Year Statement 2009’, published in December, reports 22 commercial gas storage projects at various stages of development. If these all proceed to commissioning, they could increase our gas storage capacity, to serve a range of short-term and long-term needs, by some 400 per cent. by around 2020. The Government are helping these projects to go forward, through reforms to the onshore and offshore consents regimes under the Planning and Energy Acts 2008; and by clarifying, alongside Budget 2009, that cushion gas, required by gas storage facilities, is eligible for tax relief.