DECC denies Britain is running out of gas

The Government has rubbished reports that Britain could face a potential gas supply crisis and is on the brink of running out of the energy source. A news report today […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The Government has rubbished reports that Britain could face a potential gas supply crisis and is on the brink of running out of the energy source.

A news report today claimed the UK has only two days’ worth of gas left in storage but the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said it is “misleading” to talk about how many days’ of supply is left as gas storage would never be the main source to meet the country’s needs.

A DECC 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.

“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.”

DECC said although the UK-Belgium interconnector, one of the UK’s biggest import pipelines, is temporarily down, the diverse sources of gas in the country have sufficient capacity to cover the disruption.

The 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.”

She agreed there could be a rise in gas prices as storage levels are currently low due to the cold weather and the market is tight, however, assured that supply would be maintained.

The news comes as energy supplier SSE’s outgoing Chief Executive Ian Marchant warned there is a “very real risk of the lights going out in Britain” because the Government is “significantly underestimating the scale of the capacity crunch” facing the country.