(Reuters) - Centrica Storage Limited (CSL), which operates Britain’s largest gas storage site Rough, said on Friday well tests revealed slower-than-expected tubing degradation, potentially indicating that more gas could be stored at the site in future.
The tests are crucial to determining the safe operating capacity of Rough and how much gas can be stored there.
Britain depends in large part on stored reserves to manage winter demand spikes while domestic stockpiles also help ensure security of energy supplies.
In March last year, Centrica imposed reductions on how much gas could be stored at Rough as a safety precaution. It did this be reducing the maximum allowed pressure within the facility to 3,000 pounds per square inch (psi).
“CSL considers that the tests it has conducted so far have not disclosed any defects or degradation that would prevent an eventual return to a maximum permitted operating pressure of 3,500 psi (removing the constraint on Rough’s maximum reservoir volume),” it said in a market statement.
However, CSL expects to conduct more testing on secondary well barriers until at least December when it may have sufficient information to allow an increase in well operating pressure back to normal levels.
Reporting by Oleg Vukmanovic in Milan, editing by David Evans