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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Undersea caverns key to gas storage plans

STAG Energy has been hit by the recession in its bid to get financiers on board its Gateway gas storage project, but director Andrew Stacey is confident it will happen.

Detailed design work by the Edinburgh firm is continuing. Foundation survey work associated with the array of unmanned platforms, which will control the gas storage caverns, will resume in the Irish Sea this summer to create an acoustic map of the geology.

Caverns would be created by leaching out salt formation 750m beneath the seafloor in the £600m project.

Mr Stacey said: “There is a very high demand for a lot more gas storage and the main reason for that is the supply of gas that has come historically from the North Sea and the Irish Sea is now declining rapidly.

“By 2016 something like 80 to 85 per cent of gas consumed in Britain will come from abroad and then you have a security of supply problem.”

Of Cumbria’s Energy Coast, he says: “I think it is a fascinating area given the diversity of projects with nuclear, gas fields, wind farms and gas storage,.

“It's probably unique in the world. All credit to the area.”

There would be 19 salt caverns, each 280 feet wide and up to 850 feet deep.

They could be operating by 2014.

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