Centrica freed from Rough gas storage commitments

The UK’s competition watchdog has provisionally decided to remove the requirements placed on Centrica’s Rough gas storage facility in the North Sea. The announcement from the Competition and Markets Authority […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The UK’s competition watchdog has provisionally decided to remove the requirements placed on Centrica’s Rough gas storage facility in the North Sea.

The announcement from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) comes after Centrica requested a review as it intends to close the facility due to its physical deterioration.

The undertakings include the legal, financial and physical separation of Centrica Storage Limited (CSL) from Centrica, restrictions on the energy giant’s access to capacity and ensuring non-discriminatory access to capacity for Rough’s customers.

Rough is the largest facility of its kind in the UK and is able to meet around 10% of the UK’s winter peak day demand.

CMA Chair Martin Cave said: “CMA panel members made this provisional decision based on the age and degradation of the gas wells and other facilities at Rough, which mean that the assets are no longer capable of safe operation for gas storage without substantial refurbishment.

“We also considered present and anticipated market conditions which meant that the level of investment required to meet the legal obligation to operate safely was not economically viable. This has led to our provisional finding that the undertakings are no longer required.”

The companies also need agreement from the Oil and Gas Authority to cease the storage operations.