Monday, 17 January 2011

January Sees Business Gas Supplies at a 5-Year Low

According to the National Grid, gas supplies have fallen dramatically after
the coldest December since 1890. The amount of gas kept in storage in the UK
is at the lowest level it has been in nearly five years. The problem here is
that these low levels have happened so early in winter.

Just last month, the UK's gas storage facilities reported that they are
already more than half empty. This is due to the storage companies trying to
keep up with record demand. Domestic supplies of gas have also been exported
to the continent via the Interconnector undersea pipeline, because prices
are higher there than in the UK.

As of last Friday, the UK had enough
commercial gas in storage to meet a
total of about five-and-a-half days' consumption. Of course, that is based
on the average winter temperatures. Storage facilities only release about a
fraction of this amount each day. These facilities, which are mostly old gas
fields, have in the past, run down gradually during the winter and restocked
over the spring and summer. However, analysts said that suppliers have
withdrawn stocks much earlier this year. The problem here is that there is
still at least two months of winter left to get through.

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