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UK gas reserves down to just six hours

Extreme cold weather in Norway caused the closure of a Norwegian gas supply processing centre which has impacted on the UK. Yet another National Grid gas alert has been issued and this time the UK government is appealing in desperation for extra gas to be pumped into the UK system from overseas. There is now a real danger that the supply of gas to the UK could be crippled in the days ahead unless alternative arrangements can be made immediately.

The supply issue which has hit the UK is a result of the Ormen Lange gas field in the Norwegian Sea being close since Saturday because of bad weather. However, Shell Transport & Trading, which owns the operation, is unable to say when the processing plant will be back online and this is causing confusion and concern in the gas market.

The extreme cold weather in the UK is also hampering attempts to balance the import of gas against gas usage across the country. The Met office has indicated that the cold weather is likely to continue for some time which will put yet more pressure on the UK utility sector. We are now in a situation which many people never believed would happen, with the UK struggling to make alternative arrangements for the supply of gas to both businesses and consumers.

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