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    UK Winter Gas Supplies Adequate: Grid


Despite the unknown effects of Brexit and Covid-19, National Grid says there will be enough gas this winter.

by: William Powell

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UK Winter Gas Supplies Adequate: Grid

There will be enough gas to manage the approaching UK winter peak demand season with a comfortable margin left over, according to data analysed by transmission system operator National Grid (NG) published October 15. That is despite the uncertain impacts that Brexit will have on gas supply, and Covid-19 will have on demand.

The transitional arrangements between the UK and the European Union (EU) are due to end at the start of next year, with no deal yet formally agreed.

There are two pipelines linking the UK with the continent, Interconnector UK which runs to/from Belgium and can supply 78mn m³ and the Balgzand Bacton Line to the Netherlands which can supply 47mn m³/d. The amount flowing will heavily depend on the price difference between the UK National Balancing Point and the Dutch Title Transfer Facility.

NG said: "We do not anticipate operability challenges this winter when the transition period of the UK leaving the EU ends. Since entering the transition period at the end of January 2020, there has been no significant impact on gas markets and we expect this to continue this winter, including in a ‘no-deal' scenario. We expect the established commercial arrangements across the interconnectors to remain. We have a diversity of supply sources to GB which provides a level of resilience should this position change."

As for Covid-19, NG said: "Residential heat demand on a 1-in-20 peak day will be largely unaffected by infection rates or control measures. This is because our base 1-in-20 scenario already assumes the majority of consumers would be at home and maximising their heating use." The 1-in-20 peak demand day requirement is 531mn m³/d.

In a normally cold winter with business and industry largely open, NG said it would expect to see a slight increase in demand compared to pre Covid-19 estimates owing to more people remaining at home. But this increase "would be well within the capabilities of the network and below the 1-in-20 level."

NG sees deliveries of LNG continuing unabated. It can supply 145mn m³/d, even more than the UK continental shelf (123mn m³/d) or Norway (116mn m³/d). "We anticipate volumes to be as high this winter as 2019/20, as global LNG supply capability continues to exceed global demand," it said. 

All of those sources add up to 509mn m³/day and storage can add another 103mn m³/d.