Gas market prices rocket

The vulnerability of Britain's gas supply came into sharp focus yesterday as gas prices soared due to the cold weather.

Trading prices for gas rose by 7% to 63.5p a therm yesterday. The weather right across Europe has put pressure on supplies to the UK.

The emergency reserves at the Rough gas storage facility under the North Sea have been used for the second time this winter and stocks now stand at 17% below what they were this time last year.

The UK’s stocks of North Sea gas now only account for 40% of domestic use, leaving the country reliant on imports from Europe.

There are worries about the costs being passed onto the consumer, already stretched with 3 of the Big 6 energy suppliers announcing price rises recently.

In the short term, the Met Office is predicting a continuation of the cold snap but relief may come in the early part of next year.

Alison Brown

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