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RR605 - An appraisal of underground gas storage technologies and incidents, for the development of risk assessment methodology

This report was commissioned by the Health and Safety Executive to help assess the safety issues associated with the underground storage of natural gas. This has arisen because of the need to consider a number of applications submitted by various operators in the UK who wish to develop such facilities. The rising numbers of applications are as a result of UKCS oil and gas reserves showing rapid decline, to the extent that the UK became a net importer of gas during 2004. The Government recognises that the UK faces an increasing dependency on imports, yet has very little gas storage capacity and is, therefore, at a very real risk of supply shortfalls. It notes that the UK’s capacity to import, transport and store gas and LNG efficiently has to be improved and this will require greater investment in new, timely and appropriately sited gas (and LNG) supply infrastructure, part of which is likely to include (safe) onshore underground (natural) gas storage (UGS) facilities.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2011-02-10