Energy Matters

The mainstream media have been remarkably slow in understanding just how serious the Grangemouth strike could become and until today it has been treating the story simply as one of queues at filling stations.  It’s not.  The Oil Drum Blog has been reporting for several days that closing the refinery could close the Forties pipeline and this is now being confirmed by the BBC.

 

This will cost the UK around 700,000 bpd lost oil production and 70 million cubic meters per day of gas which is about 25% of our consumption.  Further, because the network of pipelines and refineries is all so interconnected it is even possible that in time other gas supplies could be affected.  Not surprisingly, gas prices have risen sharply (around +10% yesterday) and with gas accounting for around 40% of electricity consumers can expect further increases in both gas and electricity prices before long.

 

Successive Governments have bunked off ensuring that the UK has adequate gas storage capacity preferring instead to pretend that gas in situ under the sea counted—a strategy that is looking pretty foolish right now.  Moreover at this time of year stocks are seasonally run down.  There may be as little as 6 days reserves in the system before interruptible industrial users and eventually power stations have to start closing.  

 

When will this useless Government get round to developing a coherent energy strategy?

 

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