New gas secures jobs and investment in Lancashire

Gas production has begun from the Rhyl gas field in Morecambe Bay, helping to secure the future of 400 jobs and boost energy security for the UK.

Centrica MorecambeThe Rhyl field, located 39km off the coast of Barrow, was first discovered in 2009 and is wholly owned and operated by Centrica Energy. Gas from Rhyl will be produced through Centrica Energy’s existing North Morecambe platform, then come onshore to its Barrow terminal complex by pipeline for processing.

This is the first new field to be brought on stream in the region for ten years and represents an important milestone in extending the life of Centrica’s Morecambe Bay operations, taking production well beyond 2020. Earlier this year additional appraisal drilling on the Rhyl reservoir confirmed that it extended further than originally anticipated, while Centrica Energy also recently carried out the first seismic modelling of the subsurface in the region for a decade.

Mike Astell, Centrica Energy’s regional director for the East Irish Sea said: “This is incredibly exciting news for everyone involved because it marks another lease of life for the Morecambe Bay area, securing energy for the UK and jobs for the local area.”

“Importantly for the North West, it represents Centrica Energy’s continued investment in people, skills and technology in the local area, where it already runs a successful apprenticeship programme to helping individuals advance their skills and careers”.

He added: “Morecambe Bay continues to offer a wealth of resource opportunities – both in terms of potential reserves and through nurturing local talent. By drawing on our expertise and experience, we can continue to drive gas exploration, development and production across the North West coast. Earlier this year Centrica Energy carried out the first seismic activity in a decade as part of its continued exploration activities. Results are expected later this year.