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UK could Run Out of Natural Gas by April

By Joao Peixe | Sun, 24 March 2013 00:00 | 4

Demand for natural gas in the UK soared during the coldest March in 50 years. This has led to a supply shortage, and some experts to suggest that Britain’s gas supplies could actually run out by the 8th of April, forcing them to import from Norway and Russia at far higher prices.

Whilst the government has been championing a “dash for gas” which has seen demand for the fuel increase significantly, they have done little to increase the storage capacity in the country. After the month of higher than expected demand the UK now only has a two day’s supply in reserve.

Ian Marchant, the chief executive of Scottish and Southern Energy, one of the UK’s largest power suppliers, commented that, “it appears the government is significantly underestimating the scale of the capacity crunch facing the UK in the next three years and there is a very real risk of the lights going out as a result.”

Related article: Cypriot Bailout Linked to Gas Potential

This news acts as a blow to Chancellor George Osborne, who has been the driving force behind the “dash for gas” that would see natural gas become the number one power source in the UK.

Marchant offered a solution, stating that “the government can reduce this risk of power cuts very easily, by taking swift action to provide much greater clarity on its electricity market reforms.”

But Andrew Pendleton, the head of campaigns at Friends of the Earth, warned of the risk “that these companies are holding us to ransom, in order to make the environment more favourable to their forms of generation. There is a lot at stake here. Basing our energy strategy on gas rather than clean forms of energy such as renewables means we could be held to ransom more and more in the future in this way. It could do a huge amount of harm.”

The government must be carfeul, but they must also act quickly, any delays could see the UK in dire trouble within just a few years.

By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com

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  • Tyler @ Versadrill on March 28 2013 said:
    Its strange to hear about another country complaining that all there is is gas. American's cant get rid of the oil industry.
  • Gordon Steingart on March 25 2013 said:
    Canadian oil & natural gas exported to Europe via an eastern pipeline is as important as the Keystone or the Northern Gateway. Get your act together people and make it happen. Europe needs competetive prices and Canada needs more than one trading partner for exploitation of their oil & gas reserves.
  • Power Guy on March 25 2013 said:
    Dash for gas? Really? that happened 15 years ago! there's no new dash for gas. Never was. We're forced to use gas more because of closure of coal plant under the LCPD. No energy company is building any new plant that it wasn't already committed too. The margins on gas plant are extremely poor. Eon and RWE have major problems in Germany. Also look at SSE's recent statement. (no investment this side of 2015). The returns on capital is so poor that no one is willing to build any new fossil fuel plant, at all. Is it not obvious that the only new generation is heavily subsidised? Wind biomass etc.Nuke's 10 years away.You cant make money on gas plant unless you shut down the older, less efficient gas plant and force the price up. The price of gas is going to rise. the price of electricity is going to rise. The truth is not "dash for gas". It's gas is all there is.
  • Itz Me on March 25 2013 said:
    Coldest march in 50 years, mmm , and you don't hear a peep from the fruitloops that all said we were going to fry and die from Global Warming !!!!!!

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