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UK Faces Winter Gas Crunch

July 17, 2016

By Paul Homewood 


h/t stewgreen 




From the Telegraph:


The UK faces a looming winter gas supply crunch after Centrica said it has been forced to shut down a key gas storage facility until next spring.

Centrica’s Rough  site accounts for more than 70pc of the UK’s total gas storage capacity, and can provide about 10pc of peak winter gas demand. The facility, which was converted from a partially depleted gas field off the Yorkshire coast in the 1980s, has suffered ongoing issues and outages in recent months and will now close entirely for further tests.

A spokesman  said Centrica is working to see whether it will be possible to return around a third of the capacity to operation by November, in time for colder months when  gas demand by energy companies climbs.

Cecile Langevin, a senior analyst with Thomson Reuters, said that even if companies are able to draw from the storage site before next March or April, Rough will only be 34pc full because the injections of gas usually made during the summer will not be possible .

Wholesale gas prices for this winter rocketed over 10pc on the UK market following the news, reaching 47½p a therm, as traders reacted to the  announcement. The price closed  at 46.65p a therm,  the highest winter price in a year.

Ed Cox, head of gas at price reporting firm Icis, said: “The extended outage could remove an important source of UK gas supply for the entire coming winter which is the period of peak demand. The UK may need to import more pipeline gas to cover the shortfall with the result that the UK wholesale price trades at a premium to neighbouring northwest European markets.


One more reason to regret the premature closure of coal power stations.

  1. martinbrumby permalink
    July 17, 2016 4:10 pm

    Good to see the ‘official’ Project Fear is still working overtime. For connoisseurs of rampant idiocy, I note the beyond parody:-

    BREXIT to add £350M????????

    F******g Brexit????

    What about Milipede, Huhne, Davey, Rudd, Dave Boy and all those other gormless tw*ts?

  2. Oliver K. Manuel permalink
    July 17, 2016 4:12 pm

    This is another reminder of the danger of public policy based on “97% consensus science,” held together with government research funds. This will be discussed at the London GeoEthics Conference on September 8-9, 2016. A time is scheduled for questions and discussion after each presentation.

  3. AlecM permalink
    July 17, 2016 5:06 pm

    Looks like the central power producers are going on strike in another key area. The lesson for greenie politicians** is going to be be even harsher than I had thought was being planned.
    **Inner cities without energy for weeks on time; martial law, hospitals operating by candle light, schools closed etc. etc.

  4. Joe Public permalink
    July 17, 2016 5:53 pm

    For those concerned at the scary pricing unit used, “this winter rocketed over 10pc on the UK market following the news, reaching 47½p a therm, as traders reacted to the announcement. The price closed at 46.65p a therm” there are ~29.3 kWh in that grand old British unit of heat energy.

    So that 10% rise to 47.5p/therm adds ~0.15p/kWh to suppliers’ costs.

    • Joe Public permalink
      July 17, 2016 6:45 pm

      In context:

      In Feb 2006 Rough capacity suffered an outage following a fire.

      Spot price volatility approached 300%, but then it was towards the end of peak (heating) season, when other conventional storage would tend to be depleted.

      Since then, UK gas storage & infrastructure have been extended e.g. the Norway to Easington Langeled pipeline; Stublach fast cycle salt cavern capacity; plus a substantial increase in LNG regas capacity. Cumulatively, these have reduced the UK’s dependence on Rough.

  5. Bloke down the pub permalink
    July 18, 2016 1:00 pm

    At least we can still rely on Russian gas being piped across the EU to us. I mean, the EU wouldn’t want to divert the gas elsewhere, would they?

  6. July 20, 2016 12:54 pm

    I think this is a bit of a scare story… The headline hypes up the worst case. yet there is a possibility the work gets finished in 42 days and everything continues as normal.

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