Britains Natural Gas Supplies To Run Out In February

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by old_rat, Dec 18, 2008.

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  1. Something that isn't in the news. According to an informed post in the site on 18 December a forecast says that the UK natural gas storage is likely to run out around 20 February, with no obvious means of doing anything about it. A previous post in detail was on 28 October, yet there does not seem to have been anything much said about this or what can happen. This one could be nasty...........

    Attached Files:

  2. "No obvious means..." ?????

    How about suppiers buying the same, or greater, amount than they expect to sell on to the customer.

    Is it that fcukking difficult?
  3. The UK supply may well run out, however the vast majority of all gas used in the UK today does not come from UK supplies, but from Russia and its mamoth stocks hoarded during the communist years.

    We currently have a deal with Norway who supplies us with gas piped direct from the russkies.

    In short, it was going to happen some day, this just means we are more at the behest of the old enemy than ever before.
  4. Absolute drivel.

    In 2006, the UK demand for gas was met 90% by our own resources. This has slipped a little over the past 2 years. At a guess, less than 1% of gas consumed in the UK is from Russia.

    Norway supplies the UK with Norwegian gas.

    Now you're just being silly. I know the vikings caused us a few problems, but it's long enough ago to let that grudge drop, don't you think?

    Edited to add:
    Russia now supplies approx 2% of gas consumed in the UK.
  5. There's plenty of plans to increase gas storage, many approved (you may well be a lot closer to one than you think) Here's one that individually increases Britain's storage capacity by 12%, not for a while though! Cheshire salt mines

    Also there is the introduction of significant Liquid Natural Gas storage, conversion and distribution at South Hook South Hook Here's some accurate info on gas: who has it, where it goes and how our future is pretty much assured (if we can get past February of course): LNG
  6. This entire thread is balls.

    I would go into the details (Snohvit field, Milford Haven, trans caucus pipeline). But i wont.

    Suffice to say we arent going to run out of gas any time soon, nor do we import substantial amounts of anything from Russia (Germany, on the other hand, imports bucket loads).
  7. Firstly who said anything about Vikings i was talking about the russians, or did you sleep through the cold war.

    and secondly ABSOLUTE DRIVEL :

  8. I agree we are unlikely to run out but Snohvit is Norwegian; although ultimately LNG will go into full production and arrive at South Hook (Milford Haven when it's built ) by tanker and Norway by pipeline - and the trans Caucasian gas pipeline has already been shut down once this year for safety reasons so how do any of those things guarantee we won't run out of gas by February?

    You can go into details, none of them are secrets :wink:
  9. Sense of humour failure methinks. :D

    Most of our gas imports now, and the forseeable future come from Norway. Hint, hint.

    Where in that document does it say, "the vast majority of all gas used in the UK today does not come from UK supplies, but from Russia and its mamoth stocks hoarded during the communist years."

    You really don't understand the concept of debate, do you? When you present evidence, it's supposed to support your position, not the opposite. :D
  10. Gas consumption is cyclical. We are no longer a gas exporter and our domestic gas production is currently below that needed to meet peak period consumption. So we buy in but still need to use the domestic gas production stored during the low consumption periods to fill any supply gaps.

    This bloke is saying we have a potential gap between consumption, available domestic production and imported supplies bigger than our storage capacity. Which is not news, energy analysts have been predicting this for years whilst the Government has sat in the corner w@nking away over renewable energy porn and ignoring the real problem.

    The following is a comparison of some vital natural gas statistics between Germany, UK and USA for 2007:


    Nat gas 24 % of primary energy consumption, 83 % imported, storage capacities were 22 % of annual consumption


    Nat gas U25 % of primary energy consumption, 16 % imported, storage capacity were just over 15 % of annual consumption.


    Nat gas 38 % of primary energy consumption, 21% imported, storage capacity around 4 % of annual consumption.

    Not difficult to see the problem, is it? But it is a lot worse than that thanks to inaction by an Eco-obsessed Government to the point of gross stupidity. This article is well worth reading in full and explains why having aternative heating and lighting sources available would be a pretty good idea: long mismanagement of vital infrastructure on a scale to rival Zimbabwe

    Are we powerless to avoid blackouts as 'energy crunch' looms this winter?[/b]

    "History, like fashion, comes in cycles and for a while now Britain seems to have seen a return to all that was bad about the 1970s.
    Unemployment has begun to creep upwards, struggling businesses are considering three- or four-day weeks, the national debt is mounting and any light at the end of the tunnel may have just been snuffed out by predictions of power cuts.

    Following hot of the heels of the credit crunch, experts are warning Britain is facing an energy crunch. If proved right the recent rise in gas and electricity prices will seem a mere head cold compared to the double pneumonia of a country plagued by blackouts.

    "I'm old enough to remember the three-day week of the 1970s and my children doing their homework by candlelight," says energy expert Professor Ian Fells, who has spent the last eight years trying to convince the Government of the realities of an energy crisis. "Everyone said that situation could never happen again, but it could and it will if nothing is done.

    "It feels as though we are sliding slow motion into a train crash. If we have blackouts, which is a distinct possibility, it effects everything. Our economy will dwindle to nothing, the stock exchange will be suspended, our hospitals would shut down.

    "In the past people have accused me of exaggerating the situation, but the figures are the Government's own and the time for burying heads in the sand is long gone."

    It was back in September that Professor Fells' report, commissioned by Sheffield-based industrialist Andrew Cook, highlighted in stark terms the "fearful void" in energy policy. Over the next decade many nuclear and coal-fired power plants will be decommissioned and no one as yet seems to have worked out how to compensate for the short-fall.

    Then Energy Secretary John Hutton, described the report as overstating the risks and underplaying the work which was already taking place to shore up the country's energy supply.

    However, if Prof Fell felt like a lone voice, this wasn't to last. In the three months since the report's publication, support has been growing, culminating last Friday when a House of Commons committee admitted that without immediate action the country could be blighted by power cuts.

    "We first raised the issue in 2000, when we said plans really needed to be in place within two years," says Prof Fells, of energy consultants Fells Associates, based in the North East.

    "However, about the same time, the climate change lobby really started to determine Government thinking. The following year a White Paper was published which said the situation wasn't as bad as had been feared. It concluded that we didn't need any more nuclear plants and any loss could be made up through the use of renewables.

    "Suddenly in 2007 there was a total U-turn. Another White Paper indicated that actually the Government was in favour of a new fleet of nuclear power stations. The current UK energy policy is not fit for purpose and, because of all these delays, there is still no comprehensive plan to address the short-term short-fall.

    "It's all very well to say we need new nuclear power stations, but implementing that is really rather difficult."

    By 2020 the country will have lost generating capacity equivalent to a third of current electricity demand, and while there has been much publicity and support for the rise in renewable fuels, the figures don't yet seem to stack up.

    According to Prof Fells, the UK is supposed to generate 10 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources, but the figure currently stands at just six per cent.

    With the Government already pumping £1bn into the field in subsidies, some have begun to question whether in these straitened times it is value for money.

    "Many coal-fired power stations are coming to the end of their lives," he says. "Eggborough was built in 1966, the first phase of Drax opened in 1974 and while it is possible to keep these sites going, like keeping an old car on the road, it's very expensive.

    "It's not just the maintenance side of things, but if they exceed stringent European Union regulations on emissions they are hit with heavy fines. Renewable energy has become a bit of a buzz word, but the balance seems to have become skewed.

    "Yes they are an important part of the energy mix, but we are already failing to meet the targets and it's simply unrealistic to think they will be able to fulfil all our future energy needs."

    Inevitably Prof Fells and his supporters have attracted the anger of environmentalists, who have been lobbying the Government against the building of any new coal-fired power stations. Much of their efforts have been centred on plans by Eon for a new plant in Kent which would provide energy for 1.5m homes. Campaigners, who have signed petitions in their thousands, claim the company is guilty of putting profits before people, and the Government now appears split over whether to approve the plan.

    "This is exactly the kind of dithering behaviour which has got us into this current mess," adds Prof Fells.

    "The Government doesn't seem able to make up their minds and it beggars belief that the people involved with making these very important decisions have no experience of the industry. Although coal is polluting, it is something over which we have greater control.

    "Currently the default position is to build gas-fired power stations. The problem is that 50 per cent of the gas we import comes from Russia and the Middle East, both of which are politically unstable and, while the price is variable, it is going up.

    "Basically we would be putting ourselves in hock to politically unstable suppliers and surely no one can think that is a satisfactory outcome.

    "Improved technology would mean new coal fired plants could reduce CO2 emissions by 20 per cent. It may not be an ideal solution, but in terms of security of supply and cost it's the best idea we have. At the moment, energy has to take priority over climate change."

    As an interim solution, Prof Fell has also suggested laying electricity transmission lines to Norway, Germany and Denmark, but with the National Grid having already issued short-fall warnings it may be a case of too little too late.

    "Hard decisions need to be taken and they need to be taken now," he says.

    "There is no point thinking we will be saved by wind power or some other such alternative. I'm looking out of my window now and it's totally calm, there is not even a light breeze. The other day I checked and wind power provided 0.01 per cent of the UK's electricity needs, that's fine if you have a back-up, but soon we could be in a position of having to rely on unreliable and erratic sources

    "The real danger year will be 2014, but if we have a prolonged cold snap through January and February then we could reach crisis point much sooner."

    It's the kind of shock headline that Greenpeace is used to hearing and one which they unsurprisingly have little time for. "All over the world, jobs are being created in the renewable energy sector, but Britain has been left behind for too long by the negative white flag approach to climate change," says the organisation's chief scientist, Doug Parr.

    "Professor Fells has a long-standing love affair with the technologies of the 20th-century, but as time goes by, his fetish for coal and nuclear power looks increasingly naive."

    Sadly, if no one can decide on the best way forward, we might all be stuck in the dark ages. "

    And if you think this is all alarmist crap, the market does not share that view as witnessed by current Gas Futures prices. So Liarbor may bang on about forcing greedy companies to get energy prices down but that is for headlines and is a smokescreen to cover their long term gross ineptitude in terms of UK energy supply policy
  11. It's all toss
  12. It's not alarmist, everything in the article is substantiated in Wood McKenzie Consulting's report. one of their graphs is contained on page 2 of the parliamentary info leaflet included in someone above's post (incorrectly if they think it supports their stand that there isn't a problem, there is and it's a massive one). The supply gap to 2018 is huge, it's a problem but has been clearly recognised by government who have pushed some pretty impressive construction programmes through quite quickly. We don't store or diversify enough, but we will (not by February though!)
  13. Hi Daede!

    UK gas consumption is about 100 billions of cubic meters per year.

    Snohvit contains (estimated) 193 bcm and not only the UK will consime it. So from strategical point of view it is not a long term solution.

    As for Milford Haven then anyway Liquefied Natural Gas is much more expensive than delivered by pipes.

    As for trans caucus pipeline then will it ever be built? Only God knows. Turkmenistan is able to sell its gas to Gazprom by existing pipes just now and new pipelines are belng built.

    Now Ukraine is unable to pay for Russian gas and the UK needs natural gas and of course can pay. Why not to buy something you need for reasonable price?
  14. Maybe Gasprom's understanding of a "reasonable price" is different to that of a UK gas consumer. They certainly are in Serbia!
  15. Really

    “The UK now faces the very real risk of an ‘energy crunch’ in the coming years as vital investments are delayed as a result of the recession. We have concluded that the Government’s faith in the market to deliver new gas storage, generating capacity and other infrastructure is misplaced. A radical re-think is now required if the lights are to stay on in the medium term.”

    Matters we consider to be of most importance include:

    The need for intervention to ensure rapid investment in gas storage;

    The likelihood of timely investment in new electricity generating capacity and network infrastructure;

    Interventions to improve liquidity in the wholesale gas and electricity markets;

    The development of new initiatives to promote small and large-scale renewables;

    The Government's framework for managing its current nuclear liabilities and those arising from new nuclear build;

    Implementation of Ofgem's supply probe recommendations to ensure domestic and small business customers are treated fairly;

    The Government's future strategy on fuel poverty; and

    The effectiveness of the current energy market regulatory framework.

    Note order of above priorities. Then compare with outputs from Government: spin. spin. spin.