Gas Storage is based on the principle of injecting gas into an under-ground reservoir during the summer months when gas demand is low, and taking it out of storage during periods of high demand in the winter. Kinsale Energy operates the first and, to-date the only offshore Gas Storage facility in Ireland
The Southwest Kinsale Gas Field was discovered in 1995 and was brought on stream 1st October 1999. The gas reservoir is in the Upper Cretaceous sandstones covering an area of 1,200 hectares in size, 800 meters below the sea bed.
The Southwest Kinsale Gas Field was originally a gas production reservoir. However, the field was redeveloped in October 2001, whereby gas could be taken from nearby offshore gas fields and put into storage in the Southwest Kinsale reservoir. This allowed the field to be used to meet the seasonal requirements of the Irish gas market.
In 2006 modifications were made to enable gas taken from the onshore netowork to be stored in Southwest Kinsale and the gas field was converted to a fully-fledged offshore storage facility with a storage capacity of 230 million cubic meters (1 cubic meter of gas is equivalent to about 10 kW-hrs of energy).
The facility is licensed by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER). Gas is injected during the summer months when gas demand is low and taken out of storage during periods of high demand in the winter. The gas injected may be sourced from the offshore gas fields or from the onshore BGE transmission network at Inch. The Southwest Kinsale gas store currently has a working volume of c. 230 mscm (million standard cubic meters), with a maximum withdrawal and injection rate of 2.6 mscm/d and 1.7 mscm/d respectively.
The future of Gas Storage in Ireland
PSE Kinsale Energy Limited supports the development of further Gas Storage in Ireland. This will not only help to meet Irish energy needs into the future, but will also offer additional security of gas supply and electricity generation for the country.