'Gas supplies are not running out,' insists UK Government
THE UK Government has responded to a national newspaper story about gas supply fears and insisted there is enough of the precious fuel.
The Daily Mail has today reported that Britain’s gas reserves could run out in 36 hours, leaving the country dependent on “costly foreign imports”.
It also said that, according to energy giant SSE, there was a very real risk of the lights going out in Britain.
Demand for gas is high due to the ongoing cold spell.
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But a UK Department for Energy and Climate Change spokeswoman said: “Gas supplies are not running out.
“Protracted cold weather increases demand but the UK gas market is functioning well and our gas needs are continuing to be met.
“Gas storage would never be the sole source of gas meeting our needs, so it is misleading to talk purely about how many days’ supply is in storage.
“More than half of our gas needs are still provided from the North Sea, but it’s a reality that we now rely on a diverse range of sources.
“This includes North Sea production, pipelines from Norwegian and the EU, shipments of liquefied natural gas from further afield, and storage.
“All can and are providing significant gas to meet the UK’s needs.
“Storage levels are low at the moment – as you’d expect towards the end of winter – and the UK gas market is tight.
“But the market is responding as it is designed to do - gas prices are rising and supply is being maintained accordingly.”
The DECC spokeswoman added: “We are in close contact with National Grid, who are able to step into the market to source gas and increase incentives on gas suppliers if they think there is a risk of a supply shortfall.”
But energy analyst Peter Atherton, of Liberum Capital, said: “There is no other Western economy of our size that uses as much gas as we do but has so little storage.”