A city council in northeast Britain approved a measure to start planning for a giant offshore gas storage facility, a gas company announced.
The district council in North Norfolk approved plans for a gas storage facility that could hold as much as 81 billion cubic feet of natural gas, British gas company Centrica announced.
Named after a depleted gas field in North Norfolk, the Baird gas storage project could go online as early as 2013 through a joint venture between Centrica and gas company Perenco.
The commercial gas storage facility would store gas about 50 miles off the North Norfolk coast. The joint venture would build a new gas pipeline to the coast as well as reception terminals if the project receives final approval.
Developers say the project would help bring energy security to the region as oil and gas fields in the area run dry.
London awarded its first gas storage license to Gateway Gas Storage in February to store natural gas in salt caverns under the Irish Sea. Gateway's project increases the storage capacity for gas by 30 percent, enough to meet British gas demands for five days.
London's Office of Gas and Electricity Markets, a government regulator of natural gas and electricity, said the region faces a gas crisis by 2015.