The facility, located 18 miles off the coast of East Yorkshire, was reopened for gas storage in October 2022 after ceasing operations in 2017. It now accounts for half of the UK’s total gas storage.
Initially capable of storing around 30 billion cubic feet (bcf) of gas, Rough’s capacity has now been expanded to accommodate up to 54 bcf of gas.
This boost in capacity is set to enhance the UK’s energy resilience for the upcoming winter, with the stored volume sufficient to heat 2.4 million homes throughout the season.
Chris O’Shea, Centrica Group Chief Executive Officer, highlighted the significance of Rough in balancing the UK’s gas market and keeping prices down for consumers.
O’Shea said: “We stand ready to invest £2 billion to repurpose the Rough field into the world’s biggest methane and hydrogen storage facility, bolstering the UK’s energy security, delivering a net zero electricity system by 2035, creating 5,000 skilled jobs and decarbonising the UK’s industrial clusters by 2040.
“But to do this we need the right regulatory support framework. This world class North Sea asset has the potential to help the UK economy return to a position of being a net exporter of energy once again.”