Saturday, December 03, 2005

Gas Press Release 3rd December 2005

Studies by the Independent Energy Scrutiny Panel have revealed that imports via the Interconnector crashed to a 3 week low of 15 million cubic metres of gas on Friday.

John Hemming MP the Chairman of the Panel said, "Although people may not worry because it is warm it is crucial for the UK that we continue to import gas via the interconnector and start storing it. On Friday which was a nice warm day 2 million cubic metres of gas were actually withdrawn from storage."

"Our model of gas supply and demand indicates that the UK can cope with an average temperature of below 2 C for 3 days, 4 C for 10 days and 5 C for 45 days. This is far from a secure energy position. Clearly turning off the CCGTs reduces demand by about 60 mcm/d. This would enable the UK to handle 0 C for 3 days and 1 C for 10 days."

"The behaviour of storage and imports is clearly not rational from an energy security perspective. It may be rational from a market perspective, but the market is clearly working against the UK's energy and national security at this stage. This is where there is a role for intervention from Ofgem."

"I welcome Ofgem's conference last Thursday at which the question of how to handle rolling blackouts was discussed. I continue to argue the case that avoiding rolling blackouts is a key objective."

"The only bit of good news is that it looks like we will inject some gas into storage today and tomorrow. The injection limit for Rough is 15 mcm/d. It does not at this stage look like we are even close to this limit."


Note for editors
The gas demand model relates to the average temperature for a month against the average gas consumption. The Composite Weather variable used by the National Grid uses the temperature on two days. Gas takes about a day to get through the NTS to the end user - a bit longer in the South West. The temperature is an average one for the whole country.
The National Grid do energy modelling for each of the Local Delivery Zones.

A copy of the model is available on request. Updates are sent daily in the early evening.


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