Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Keeping an eye on UK gas supply...

Although winter should be nearly over in the UK, it's still pretty cold, and has been for much of the time since early January. As a result, while UK gas storage was looking pretty healthy earlier in the winter, it's now (again) at the point where it needs to warm up pretty soon or there are going to be some demand reductions enforced on industry.

The trigger level for issuing a Gas Demand Warning has fallen from 473 mcm/day (million cubic metres of gas per day) as recently as 9 Feb 2013 to only 395 mcm/day for 27 Feb 2013. Although demand is some way short of that (352mcm on 26 Feb), the gap between demand and trigger is now tighter than it has been at any other point so far this winter.

This is underlined by the amount of storage left at present (26 Feb):

  • Long range: 8,931 GWh out of ~40,000 max
  • Medium range: 2,871 GWh out of ~12,000 max
  • Short range: 203 GWh out of ~350 max
For comparison, that total GWh storage is equivalent to about 1,100 mcm, or just over three days gas at present consumption. So as you can see, it only takes one industrial accident or a change in gas trading to cause a problem. Let's hope it warms up soon...

If you'd like to view the raw data for the above yourself, you can view the 'Prevailing View', which summarises the current state of the gas system, here. Screenshot:

Also useful are the Entry Zone Graphs, which allow you to view the last few minutes, hour or 24 hours of gas supply, including that coming out of storage. Screenshot:

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