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LONDON, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Centrica Storage Limited said on Thursday it had launched a market consultation on reducing the minimum storage capacity at its Rough gas storage site in Britain, amid concerns about its ability to deliver gas.
CSL said it is allowed to apply to the energy market regulator Ofgem to reduce the capacity when there has been, or is expected to be, a substantial change in Rough's physical capabilities.
For such an application, CSL has to launch a market consultation process.
"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," the operator said in a statement.
The consultation document sets out a range of projections for Rough's physical capabilities in 2017/18, based on the availability of its wells for injection and withdrawal of gas.
They also include one scenario where there are no wells available for injection and withdrawal.
Britain's main storage site, Rough, in the North Sea, is over 30 years old. It only resumed some gas withdrawals last week after its operations had been restricted last year due to potential issues with well integrity.
This shutdown highlighted the vulnerability of the country's gas storage capacity.
CSL said it would provide the market and Ofgem with specific information about Rough's forecast capabilities on or before Feb. 28, 2017.
The consultation document can be viewed here: here (Reporting by Nina Chestney; Editing by Adrian Croft)