The UK’s largest gas storage and retrieval site is unable to accept new gas injections due to ongoing tests.
Centrica Storage Ltd (CSL), the operator of the Rough facility off the east coast of England, said that no gas injections operations would take place at the depleted reservoir site before the start of May.
In a regulatory announcement the energy firm said further work may required in order to allow fresh gas to be put into the site. It is understood withdrawals are not affected.
The statement said: “CSL has determined that, as a reasonable and prudent operator, it cannot safely return to injection operations on or prior to May 1, 2017.
“Following further test results from the calliper and wells testing program, and following a review with its independent technical advisers, CSL has concluded that the uncertainties associated with the differing failure modes, plus the age and condition of the assets, means CSL cannot offer injection services for the storage season 2017/18 at the present time.”
The energy company said it intends to continue with its calliper and wells testing programme.
It is expected to be completed by the end of April, subject to weather and other unforeseen operational constraints.
The company statement added: “CSL will then evaluate the full test results from all 24 wells, and at that time will have to determine whether further works are necessary in order to commence safe injection operations.
“CSL expects to complete this analysis by June 30, 2017, and will provide a further update to the market at that time. During this period CSL will not be available for reinjection services but will continue to be available for production services.”
The announcement came as CSL launched a consultation regarding its application to Ofgem to reduce the Minimum Rough Capacity (MRC) and Additional Space (AS).
The primary aim of the consultation, affecting the 2017/2018 Storage Year, is to ensure CSL is not required to sell more storage services than Rough can physically deliver.