Notwithstanding the increased focus on renewable energy, gas continues to be an important part of the UK’s energy mix. The downturn in production from the North Sea has resulted in a greater amount of gas being imported to the UK, either via interconnector pipes from Norway or Europe or as liquefied natural gas (LNG) from around the globe. In addition, the UK is looking at security of supply and other indigenous sources, so gas storage and coal bed methane are also important parts of this sector.
Walker Morris is actively advising clients in the gas sector, and is one of the leading LNG practices in the UK outside London. Our expertise in this area has been recognised by our appointment to National Grid’s panel of external lawyers, advising them on their commercial gas activities.
- LNG importation: The Renewables, Energy & Resources Group advised National Grid in relation to its LNG importation terminal at the Isle of Grain, Kent. In particular, we recently acted for National Grid in relation to the “Phase 3” expansion of its LNG importation terminal, advising on the commissioning arrangements (including the delivery of commissioning cargoes) and the nitrogen ballasting arrangements required to allow the expansion to begin commercial operations. Building on this LNG expertise, Walker Morris has advised an LNG shipper utilising a UK LNG terminal on various aspects of its activities and has advised the developer of a proposed LNG facility as to the application of certain regulatory requirements to the facility.
- LNG storage: We also provide regular legal advice and support to National Grid’s LNG storage business. This includes advice in relation to regulated contracts for the use of those facilities and also providing strategic advice to the business to facilitate its medium and long-term plans.
- Gas storage: Walker Morris advised Storengy UK Limited (a subsidiary of GDF Suez) in relation to a major energy project in Cheshire which involves the creation of underground facilities for storing and distributing gas. We have been involved from an early stage of the project, and our advice has involved the alignment of a number of specialisms within the practice, including construction advice, property advice, procurement / competition advice and energy advice. The construction and property aspects of this project provided particular challenges, which we were able to steer the client through to enable successful delivery of the first phase of this project. We were delighted to be instructed for the second phase of the project, on the back of a successful delivery of the works for the first phase.
- Coal bed methane and landfill gas: We advised Greenpark Energy in relation to several projects involving coal bed methane extraction and in respect of planning advice for gas pipelines and in respect of GPDO rights in England and Scotland in connection with coal bed methane extraction. The Renewables, Energy & Resources Group also advised in relation to the exploration and development licences required to extract coal bed methane.
- Shale gas: The Group is currently advising a US-based shale gas operator on its entry into the UK market, including the identification and acquisition of appropriate sites for its shale gas operations.