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Is the price of UK gas set to spiral higher?

The revelation by the National Grid that 50% of UK gas supplies will be imported over the next 12 months has dealt a significant blow to UK consumers. Despite the fact that the UK was actually a net exporter of gas back in 2003, due in the main to the North Sea oilfields, it would appear that the situation has deteriorated alarmingly over the last six years and the UK energy industry is now at the beck and call of overseas suppliers.

The last two years have seen an increase in the amount of gas imports, from just 27% back in 2007 to an enormous 50% this year. When you consider we are currently in the throes of one of the deepest recessions in living history, and gas usage will obviously be relatively low compared to the boom times, there are concerns that the situation could become more severe over the next few years.

Aside from the fact that many consumers feel that they are overpaying for gas at the moment, they may well be in for a shock in the short, medium and longer term. There are obvious cost implications when importing gas and this also puts the UK in the hands of overseas providers and potential involvement in issues such as we saw in Russia only a couple of years ago - where a vital European gas line was effectively closed for a short period.

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