Ofgem Meeting Monday
"Over the recent cold spell", said Mr Hemming, "the country started using stored gas both from long term and medium term storage as soon as consumption went over 290 mcm/d. This is far too low. Only about 7 mcm was imported via Belgium. Considerable quantities of gas are coming in via the new pipeline, but the gas we should get from the Continent is not flowing sufficiently."
"This creates the hazard that supplies will be constrained in cold spells. Langeled's import levels indicate that gas we previously obtained via the interconnector is now coming via Langeled. "
"I am still trying to get figures for the imports via Vesterled which comes into the Total sub-terminal at St Fergus. We have some figures, but cannot reveal the source. The Norwegians are refusing to consider providing us with information unless we reveal our sources. We are not willing to do that. A proper transparent market requires that information."
"With electricity generation from Nuclear Power way down this winter it has been difficult to predict how much safety margin the country has. There are two key variables. One is gas imports from the continent and the other is the weather. The weather warnings are now worrying. The imports from the continent are also worrying. "
"I am meeting Ofgem on Monday to discuss the issue of the use of gas from storage in preference to import. I take the view that they should launch a formal competition inquiry to encourage those companies that straddle the channel to import gas rather than take from storage."