Thursday, 17 January 2013

UK gas storage withdrawals hit a record high

Platts reported that new records were set for withdrawals of gas from UK storage on Wed 16 Jan 2013, as cold weather affected the entire country:

End-of-day nominations showed total withdrawals of 112 million cubic meters, of which 44 million cu m came from the UK's long-range storage facility, the Centrica-owned Rough, data from Platts' unit Bentek Energy showed.

"Clearly this was incentivized by bullish prices; it shows that the smaller facilities accounted for 61% of total activity including record withdrawals at Holford (18 million cu m), Aldbrough (16 million cu m) and Humbly Grove (7 million cu m)," Bentek said.
Looking at the figures, we're OK for now, but if it stays this cold for a couple of weeks, there may be problems. Hopefully it'll warm up soon!

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Shale gas: BP says it won't make much difference

The debate on shale gas in the UK has been going back on forth for some time now, with environmental concerns coming up against George Osborne and others in government who think it will help the UK to increase energy security and reduce energy prices.

What's interesting is that BP, who you'd think would know something about this area, has now made some comments in the Telegraph (which tends to be anti-environment):

Shale gas is unlikely to be a “game-changer” for the UK over the next two decades, energy giant BP said, as it warned that Europe would become increasingly dependent on imported gas.
Christof Rühl, BP’s chief economist, said it foresaw “extremely limited growth” in shale gas in Europe. “Europe has various problems: environmental concerns, outright bans on fracking, a lack of infrastructure and a long tradition of not minding so much having to import things,”
“It takes years to actually generate and unlock shale production in Europe, where infrastructure is so much less developed than it was in the US. It takes an enormous amount of drilling and rigs to unlock shale,
BP’s report found that the EU’s production of shale gas might reach only 2.4bn cubic feet per day (bcfd) by 2030 - compared with about 20bcfd in the US currently. European shale gas therefore would not be “enough to offset the rapid decline of conventional gas production”. Europe would see a 48pc increase in net imports over the period.

So don't expect to see falling energy bills any time soon.

In the meantime, I'm keeping an eye on data from the National Grid about gas demand in the UK during the cold weather. We're OK for now, but I'll post here if things start to look a bit dodgy...


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