The Cygnus gas development has been under construction for some years now, however the first gas has been drawn and delivered to the UK this week, marking a significant achievement for UK gas. The gas has been transported the Norfolk, across the North Sea, arriving at the Bacton gas terminal, ready for UK supply.
The new gas field will be made up of four gas platforms, and two additional subsea platforms in the North Sea, spreading across 250sq kilometres.
It is estimated that there are 110 million barrels of oil equivalent in reserves at the gas field, which should be able to provide up to 5% of the UK’s gas supply alone. At the moment, not all wells are in action, however it is reported that all 5 should be available as soon as 2018.
This comes at a time of great UK gas system stress. Despite it being summer (at the time of writing), the UK’s gas system has been opening undersupplied almost every day since early July. Since Centrica Storage Ltd announced the imminent closure of the largest gas storage site Rough, the gas system has been strained, and as such the UK has been very reliant on imported gas from Norway, along with LNG contracts, which can be very few and far between.
The new gas field could provide a huge amount of gas supply in places where the UK is lacking:
And should help diversify the sources of gas that make up everyday gas supply. Additionally, we are heavily dependent on gas for power generation in our CCGT plants. On average, gas fired power makes up between 30-50% of the power generation stack daily, making it even more important to secure the future of gas supply. The Cygnus gas field should be fully operational for 20+ years.
Sources: Energy Live News, Energy Voice, BBC News