Press Release


Plans to develop a major gas storage facility in the Irish Sea have moved a step closer with the submission of planning applications to the British Government by Gateway Storage Company Ltd. Gateway has submitted applications to BERR (formerly DTI) and DEFRA for a £500m 1.1billion cubic metre gas storage facility that will be built in salt caverns more than 750m beneath the seabed of the Irish Sea.

Subject to securing planning permission and financing, Gateway will open for operation in mid-2011 and will provide a significant contribution to the Government’s twin policy objectives of improving security and diversity of energy supplies. Gateway would add new capacity equal to approximately 25% of current UK storage capacity, sufficient to meet two days of Britain’s winter peak demand. The gas storage caverns are to be located 15 miles offshore, south-west of Barrowin-Furness and connected to the National Gas Transmission Scheme (NTS) via a new pipeline to a gas compression station adjacent to the existing Morecambe gas terminals at Barrow.

Gateway Storage has applied to DEFRA’s Marine and Fisheries Agency for the drilling and installation of the offshore structures, brine discharge, gas injection and additional offshore works. The company has also applied to BERR for permission to construct the offshore pipeline, and next month will apply to Barrow Town Council for permission to build the gas compression station.

George Grant, Director of Gateway Storage said: “With the pressures on the UK energy market, not least the growing reliance on gas imports and the risks associated with price volatility, the country requires flexible high deliverability gas storage. Gateway is well-positioned to serve the UK gas market, and to provide a cost effective solution to some of the Government’s key energy policy objectives.”

Commenting on the geographical location of the project, George Grant added: “The site in the salt strata below the Irish Sea has been independently verified to be one of the very best for the construction of salt cavern gas storage, whilst Barrow is the ideal entry point given the town’s existing gas operations and the NTS connection.” The planning applications, including a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment, are open to public consultation. A decision is expected from Government in the first quarter of 2008.

Notes to Editors:

1. In the House of Commons debate on Security of Energy Supply (January 12th 2006), the then Trade & Industry Secretary Alan Johnson told MPs that “over the next decade, companies will be able to use new technology to create salt caverns offshore and store gas in them. There is strong potential for gas storage in a number of geological formations offshore, in areas such as the Irish Sea and the southern North Sea. That could significantly add to the UK's gas supply capacity.”

2. Gateway Storage is a company that has been formed to develop the proposed gas storage project and will be managed by Stag Energy. Stag Energy ( is an independent company, headquartered in Edinburgh. The company, established in 2002, has extensive experience of managing the development, construction and operations of gas storage and power generation projects in the UK and overseas.

3. Storing gas in salt caverns enables firms to retrieve gas rapidly to cope with spikes in peak demand. The British Geological Survey, in a report commissioned by BERR, highlighted a number of offshore areas suitable for salt caverns, including the Irish Sea and the Southern North Sea. Gas has been stored in salt caverns underground for many decades and is a well-proven, safe and secure method of securing gas.

For further information:

Gateway Storage Company Ltd
George Grant or Andrew Stacey
T: 0131 550 3380 / 07810 851029
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This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Paul Taylor (Taylor Keogh Communications)
T: 020 3170 8465 / 07966 782611
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