Britain has no room for energy supply complacency

Oct 20, 2004 02:00 AM

Britain should not become complacent over its energy supply situation although the country has enough gas and power to meet consumer demands this winter, British energy regulator Ofgem said.
Ofgem said that "National Grid Transco(NGT)'s forecasts continue to show that supplies to customers can be maintained even in a severe Siberian-style winter." But Ofgem also warned that falling output from aging North Sea gas fields means there is no room for complacency.

The regulator said that "despite declining UK gas reserves, gas supplies can be maintained by using a combination of UK supplies, gas imports, storage and where necessary, demand-side response from large gas customers."
In electricity, it said NGT forecasts it will meet winter peak electricity demand through returning some mothballed plant to operational use.
"But when it comes to keeping people's homes warm and the lights on, we can't be complacent," Ofgem's CEO Alistair Buchanan said.

Last winter, tight gas and power supplies drew criticism of the way the British energy market operates and some analysts warned that power cuts were likely. A study by UK Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA) said gas prices in Britain are expected to remain high for at least three years because of the knock-on effect of current record high oil prices and supply shortages.
UKOOA, which represents 30 British oil and gas producers, said this year's increases in gas prices have been passed on to the consumers, with British Gas having raised charges twice since January.

Source: Xinhua English Newswire
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