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National Grid issues alert on gas supply

The National Grid has issued its second "gas balancing alert" of the week as the extreme cold weather in the UK continues to impact upon demand for gas. The "gas balancing alert" is issued when demand for gas in the country outstrips supply and is effectively a warning to consumers and businesses to be more efficient in the use of gas.

Demand for gas across the UK is expected to hit 454,000,000 m³ today which is higher than the previous record of 449,000,000 m³ in January 2003. These extreme numbers are certainly placing pressure upon the UK gas supply system and while there are eight days in reserve there is concern about the future supply and demand figures in the UK. As the UK population continues to grow it is inevitable that demand will increase in the years ahead and place more pressure a the system which is already creaking.

The next major problem may well be an increase in the price of gas in the short to medium term, although we did see a slight dip in the price only yesterday. The government and the gas regulator will obviously be monitoring the situation as close as possible although what action they can take in the short term is unclear.

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