Centrica scraps British gas storage projects

Sept. 24, 2013 at 9:21 AM
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LONDON, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- British energy company Centrica said it was putting two natural gas storage facilities in the country on hold because of lack of financing.

Centrica acquired the Caythorpe gas storage facility in 2008 and the Baird facility in 2009. Both projects were meant to store natural gas in depleted onshore and North Sea gas fields respectively.

The company said it decided to put both projects on the shelf. Centrica said Monday the decision was made because of the "weak economics" for gas storage facilities and because the British government ruled out "intervention in the market to encourage additional gas storage capacity to be built."

Centrica said it would write off the $384 million in total costs associated with both projects.

It said Monday it would continue with operations at its Rough gas storage facility, which is designed to store as much as 10 percent of the country's peak demand for natural gas.

The company said the decision leaves the country with less than a month's worth of natural gas supplies, compared to the approximate three-month supply held by rival European countries.

A spokesman for the British Department of Energy and Climate Change told The Guardian gas storage "only provides a small proportion" of the country's total supply.

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