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Gas Storage Facilities

Volume 626: debated on Tuesday 27 June 2017

6. What estimate his Department has made of the future level of investment required in the UK’s gas storage facilities. (900022)

There has been significant investment in the UK’s natural gas supply infrastructure over the past decade. It is highly complex, because we benefit from highly diverse and flexible sources of natural gas. They include: indigenous production from the North sea; six international gas pipelines with Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands; three liquefied natural gas terminals that can bring supply from anywhere in the world; and a number of modern, responsive gas storage facilities. We are confident that market-led investment will continue to deliver secure gas supplies, but I will continue to monitor the position.

I thank the Minister for his answer. The ceramics industry is a major employer in my constituency. It is very energy-intensive and heavily reliant on a secure supply of gas for business continuity. In the light of the announcement that the Rough gas storage facility is to close, what assurances can the Minister give the ceramics industry that the gas it needs will not run out or become unaffordable?

As I explained in my answer to the hon. Gentleman’s first question, we have a very diverse range of sources. Analysis conducted by the National Grid and others confirms that the closure of Rough will not cause a problem with security. I give the hon. Gentleman an undertaking to monitor this, with my Department, on a weekly basis.