Start of operations at Aldbrough gas storage

July 1, 2009, 10:31 CEST

Aldbrough Gas Storage

StatoilHydro participates in the project with one thirds of the capacity.

Initially, Aldbrough will provide around 60 million cubic metres (mcm) of capacity in two caverns. This will be the first new gas storage capacity in the UK for four years.

Capacity in another three caverns is expected to become available by the end of 2010 and the facility is an important contribution to further build UK’s gas storage capacity, according to the operator Scottish and Southern Energy plc (SSE).

“The UK is Europe's biggest gas market and lies close to our core area for gas production. We are a committed gas supplier and continuously work to improve and optimise our supplies to customers and the market. In this context, the start up of Aldbrough is a key event for creating value,” said Torgrim Reitan, senior vice president for trading and operations in StatoilHydro's
Natural Gas business area.

Torgrim Reitan, senior vice president for trading and operations in StatoilHydro's Natural Gas business area. (Photo: Hild Bjelland Vik)


Reitan underlines that the UK is a very important market for StatoilHydro.

The group is today a considerable supplier of gas to this market through several long-term delivery commitments and also a key player on the National Balancing Point (NBP) in the UK – Europe’s most liquid gas trading point.

StatoilHydro is a major shipper in all gas pipelines from the Norwegian Continental Shelf to the UK (Langeled, Vesterled and Tampen Link).

When fully commissioned, currently expected to be in 2012, Aldbrough will have the capacity to store up to 370 mcm in nine underground caverns and will be the largest onshore gas storage facility in the UK.

It will be able to deliver gas to the National Transmission System at a rate of 40mcm per day and have up to 30mcm of gas per day injected.

To form gas storage caverns, salt deposits around 2 km under ground are leached out by seawater, which, in turn, is replaced by gas under pressure.

In addition to marketing its own gas, StatoilHydro markets gas volumes on behalf of Petoro which manages the Norwegian State’s direct financial interest (SDFI) on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.