The UK’s largest storage site for natural gas is to permanently close due to safety fears, raising concerns about the country’s growing reliance on gas imports and vulnerability to volatile prices.
Centrica, the owner of British Gas, said it had had to close its Rough storage site in the North Sea after a safety review found failures in its ageing wells.
The move will rob the UK of around 70pc of its natural gas storage capacity, likely leading to a need for more imports from countries such as Norway and Qatar.
The 32 year-old site off the coast of Yorkshire had capacity to meet a tenth of the UK’s peak winter gas needs.
Gas was injected into Rough’s permeable undersea rock at times of surplus and then drawn out when demand was high.