New Netherlands-UK natural gas pipeline opens

Friday, 01 December 2006

The UK is increasing its imports of LNG and pipeline gas as its domestic reserves in the North Sea deplete.

Britain is now a net importer of natural gas and only last month a new pipeline opened between Norway and the UK.Construction of the BBL project has taken just under two years.

 BBL is a joint venture involving Gasunie, E.ON Ruhrgas of Germany, and Fluxys, a Belgian subsidiary of Suez.

Gasunie said the new natural gas flows to the UK began at 6 am continental time as scheduled between Balgzand and Bacton on England’s Norfolk coast.

Bacton is now the largest natural gas terminal complex in the UK as gas also comes onshore from North Sea domestic production and from Belgium via the Interconnector pipeline opened in 1998.

The BBL pipeline has a capacity of 1.75 million cubic metres per hour and 15 billion cubic metres of a year.

 The UK is Europe’s largest natural gas market and annual consumption of natural gas will be more than 100 bcm in 2007.The gas from the BBL link will come from various shippers who will obtain it from producers in and beyond the Netherlands, including Germany.