Trade and Industry written question – answered on 4th November 2004.

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Photo of Mr David Stewart Mr David Stewart PPS (Rt Hon Alistair Darling, Secretary of State), Department for Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the implications for gas storage requirements to meet peak winter gas demand when the UK becomes a net importer of gas.

Photo of Mike O'Brien Mike O'Brien Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry, Minister of State (Energy & e-Commerce), Department of Trade and Industry

The market is best placed to assess business opportunities for gas storage based on a commercial evaluation. Storage is only one method of providing the flexibility of gas supply to meet peak winter demand. The Joint Energy Security of Supply Working Group (JESS) publishes a regular overview of security of supply indicators and provides information to the market on the need for peak supply capacity. In addition, DTI writes to local planning authorities, considering gas storage projects, to ensure that they are aware of the national need for additional supply-side flexibility, including storage capacity, as North Sea gas production declines.

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