The UK is set to receive its first delivery of natural gas from the US later this week, ICIS analysis showed on Wednesday morning. The sighting of the inaugural cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG), from the US comes on the same day as UK exports of gas to the European mainland was set hit an all-time record high.
The shifting supply and demand of UK gas flows comes just weeks after the permanent closure of the country’s most important storage facility. As a result, UK utilities and energy companies are now having to alter the way they source and store their gas.
The price of wholesale gas for delivery in the UK on Wednesday was 37.1p/th, according to ICIS data. This was 2.1p/th cheaper than on the European mainland, providing a clear incentive for gas companies to export their gas.
ICIS analysis of LNG shipping routes show the Maran Gas Mystras vessel should arrive in Kent’s Isle of Grain terminal on 8 July. The vessel is able to carry 1,045GWh of gas.
Screenshot source: LNG Edge
Wednesday should also see the Interconnector pipeline – which runs from Bacton in Norfolk to Belgium’s Zeebrugge – export 647GWh of gas, beating the previous record set on 8 April 2011, when 644GWh was sent to mainland Europe.
The Maran Gas Mystras is able to carry enough gas to supply around 50% of Wednesday’s national gas demand. The exports through Interconnector are almost around a third of national demand.
Gas companies must store their additional summer supply so that they can use it during the high-demand winter.
The closure of Rough has resulted in around 70% of the UK’s gas storage capacity being removed.
Prior to last month’s decision by Centrica to completely halt operations at the facility, Rough was already undergoing a year-long temporary shut-down, in an effort to undertake vital repairs.
The total closure of Rough had brought the UK’s gas security of supply back into the spotlight, particularly given an increasing amount of gas is delivered from Qatar in the form of LNG. However, the delivery of a cargo from the US – which is fast-becoming a major global producer – should dampen such fears.
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