Rough ride ahead for gas prices?

Further to my last post, one way companies have tried to smooth out gas demand is by storage such as the Rough facility in the North Sea.

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But as this article points out, it’s not as easy or cost-effective as you might think and as a result we’re all going to be paying more.

Centrica Plc’s Rough, the U.K.’s largest natural gas storage facility 9,000 feet below the North Sea bed, unexpectedly closed for the summer and will probably remain unavailable for most of the winter.

Why does this matter?

Rough accounts for more than 70 percent of Britain’s storage capacity. Without the facility, the U.K. will be more dependent on imports in winter, potentially making energy more expensive. Gas for winter delivery advanced 4.3 percent since June 21, the day before the full outage at Rough was announced. Storage levels at Rough are less than half the five-year average.

You can read more of the why’s and wherefore’s in the article but suffice to say it’s not good news, especially if we have a cold winter;

Gas exporters from Norway to Russia, already pumping record amounts of gas to Europe may be able to sell even more fuel to the U.K. this winter. Exporters of U.S. liquefied natural gas may also benefit.

We need to get cracking with fracking.

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