Friday 24 November 2017

Record UK gas prices 'won't impact here in short term'

Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

WHOLESALE gas prices in Britain surged to a record high after one of the main UK gas import pipelines shut down unexpectedly.

Consumers here are protected from short-term gas price moves, but it highlights just how vulnerable Irish and UK gas is to foreign supplies.

Wholesale gas prices hit record highs after a gas interconnector between Belgium and UK broke down. The pipe carries around a fifth of the gas used in Britain.

Ireland in turn gets most of its gas from the UK.

"Short-term wholesale UK gas prices spiked this morning," said Bord Gais Energy spokesman John Heffernan.

Benefit

He added that Irish customers were protected from short-term wholesale price fluctuations and could benefit from sterling's 5pc slide against the euro since the beginning of the year.

The European Commission said it had not been alerted by the UK energy ministry about concerns regarding gas supplies, but the EU executive was monitoring the situation.

Yesterday's problems highlight once again that countries which import fossil fuels remain vulnerable.

Britain is already grappling with a potential gas supply crisis as a late blast of winter depletes stored reserves. Inventories at Rough, the UK's biggest gas storage facility, fell to an all-time low this week.

Irish Independent

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