U.K. Gas Storage Will Be Almost Full Early November, Grid Says

U.K. natural gas storage facilities will be almost full by the beginning of November, with stocks at similar levels to previous winters, according to network manager National Grid Plc.

Storage inventories were 80 percent full at the end of September, the company said in its annual Winter Outlook, published on its website. Total deliverability from storage will be about 135 million cubic meters a day, an increase on last winter because of increased capacity from SSE Plc’s Holford and Aldbrough sites, Chris Train, National Grid’s London-based director of market operation, wrote in the report.

Rough, the U.K.’s biggest gas storage facility, has narrowed its deficit to the five-year average to about 3,000 gigawatt-hours (279 million cubic meters) from 13,000 in April, as injection rates outpaced previous years, National Grid data on Bloomberg show.

All U.K. storage facilities were a combined 90 percent full yesterday, higher than in 2010 at the same time of year, according to Gas Infrastructure Europe data on Bloomberg. The level dropped to a record-low 2.7 percent full April 13 amid unseasonably cold weather, the data show.

National Grid’s main challenge this winter will be handling the growing variation in how much gas the delivery network contains each day, a measure known as linepack, according to the report.

“The average linepack swing has increased as users are increasingly utilising the flexibility of the network and associated commercial products to vary flows within day,” Train wrote. “This is increasing the requirement on the system operator to undertake a much wider range of sub-daily operational processes and contingencies in order to maintain the safe operation of the system.”

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