National Grid has warned it may not have enough gas to meet UK demand on Thursday due to the extreme weather conditions and supply issues.
It issued a “gas deficit warning” early on Thursday following “significant supply losses”.
Shortages could affect industrial users as the Grid tries to balance supply and demand by buying in more gas if needed.
Despite the shortfall of about 50 million cubic metres, household gas supplies should not be affected.
Why is demand for gas outstripping supply?
The biggest factor is the weather. The “beast from the east” is bringing sub-zero temperatures to the UK and with heavy snow, boosting demand for gas from both households and businesses.
The weather has also affected gas supplies, creating problems for pipelines from Norway, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Energy analyst David Hunter of Schneider Electric said the industry no longer has access to the Rough gas storage facility in the North Sea that was closed by Centrica last year due to safety issues.
These issues, along with declining supplies from North Sea fields, means the UK is now more reliant on gas imports.
Demand is also higher due to the number of gas-fired power stations in the UK as coal-fired power stations are decommissioned.
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