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Gas crisis: factories prepare to cut their use amid big freeze

02 March 2018

Households have been told to "carry on cooking" despite the National Grid issuing a gas deficit warning as fears mount supplies could run empty and energy prices could skyrocket amid extreme weather conditions across Britain.

CIBC World Markets Inc. grew its position in National Grid by 63.6% during the fourth quarter.

National Grid forecast daily demand of 394 million cubic metres (mcm) and supply of 359mcm, leaving a shortfall of 35mcm. This is a notice to the market that we'd like more gas to be made available to ensure the safe and reliable operation of the national gas network.

It said there had been a...

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PA MAJOR DISRUPTION Met Office officials have warned disruption is expected to continue

This - together with other factors such as declining supplies from North Sea fields - means the United Kingdom is now more reliant on gas imports.

The National Grid has issued a "gas deficit warning" over dwindling supplies as temperatures plummet across the country.

Its job is to balance supply and demand of gas across the country, but does not sell the fuel itself.

There have been problems with a pipeline to the Netherlands, reductions in gas flows from Norway and technical issues at facilities in the United Kingdom, including the North Morecambe Barrow terminal.

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The jump in gas prices is much higher than the one in December after a major North Sea pipeline was closed for repairs.

Can people still use their gas central heating and cookers?

"Experts have long warned about putting too many eggs in the same basket, with events such as today the undesirable outcome", said Dr Jonathan Marshall, energy analyst at the ECIU thinktank.

If suppliers are not able to meet demand, "they will ask certain people to stop using gas", Mr Atherton said.

National Grid hopes that by paying factories to cut their gas consumption households will not be hit by the "perfect storm" of freezing weather and multiple supply outages. Day-ahead gas traded at 100 pence per therm, down 56.5 percent from Thursday.

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Large energy companies often hedge their supply, locking the price in in advance, so consumers are unlikely to see a jump in their bill - though the situation may be different for those using smaller suppliers.

The cold snap has increased the number of requests for call-outs, British Gas said, which is having difficulty answering customer queries. BEIS said it did not expect the wholesale price rise to lead to higher prices for households as energy firms typically hedge their exposure to commodity prices many months in advance.

Two of of the company's call centres in Scotland have had to be closed due to the cold weather.

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Gas crisis: factories prepare to cut their use amid big freeze