Monday, 10 January 2011

Gas supplies at five-year low for early January

The amount of gas kept in storage in the UK is at its lowest level in five
years for so early in the winter, according to National Grid.

Last month, was the coldest December since 1890, and the UK's gas storage
facilities, which are among the smallest in Europe, are already more than
half empty as they cope with record demand. Domestic supplies of gas have
also been exported to the continent via the Interconnector under-sea
pipeline, because prices are higher there than in the UK.

As of Friday, the UK had enough gas in storage to meet in total about five
and a half days' consumption, given average winter temperatures, although
storage facilities can release only a fraction of this each day. These
facilities - mostly old gas fields such as Centrica's Rough reservoir off
the coast of Yorkshire - have in the past run down gradually during the
winter and restocked over the spring and summer. But analysts said that
suppliers have withdrawn stocks much earlier this year, with almost two
months of the winter left to run.

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