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The UK faces a major change in the nature of its gas supply as North Sea production declines and the country becomes increasingly reliant upon gas imports. As a result the UK Government recognizes that significant investment in gas supply infrastructure is required to maintain security of supply and manage the gas market. Part of that infrastructure will be additional underground gas storage capacity in specially designed and engineered salt caverns. This paper summarizes the distribution and nature of halite (rock salt) deposits in England and Northern Ireland, and reviews the details of existing and planned storage sites in salt caverns. There is considerable potential for further salt cavern development. However, not all of the UK salt fields are suitable, with the halite beds being too shallow, thin or impure.

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