The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is consulting on whether it should review the commitments made by Centrica after it bought the Rough gas storage facility in 2002.
Rough is a field in the North Sea located 18 miles off the coast of East Yorkshire and is used to store gas in the summer and deliver it in winter to help meet higher demand.
The undertakings include a requirement to keep CSL – Rough’s operator – legally, financially and physically separate from parent company Centrica and to “prevent CSL from discriminating in favour of Centrica or other users of Rough”.
CSL was also obliged to sell a specific amount of capacity before the start of each storage year and restrict the amount which can be supplied to Centrica.
However it has asked the CMA if the undertakings could be changed, suggesting that, as an ageing asset, Rough’s performance is “more likely” to vary in the future and increase the chance of it not meeting its sales obligations.
“CSL has asked the Competition and Markets Authority to vary the undertakings to allow for Rough’s changing physical capabilities”, CMA said in a statement.
It is inviting comments from any interested parties by 12th October.
Yesterday the CMA announced it is extending its investigation into the UK energy market.