Wholesale gas prices hit record high as pipelines close

Following the unexpected shutdown of an import pipeline British wholesales gas prices have hit a record level. This follows pressure on energy suppliers as cold weather has drained reserves. The operator of the UK-Belgium Interconnector pipeline said a technical problem had forced the shutdown. If the pipeline remains shut, the grid operator will be forced to trigger all emergency supply options, including reducing demand from contracted users, which could see prices rise even higher.

Gas prices for within-day delivery spiked at 150 pence per therm, more than 50 percent above Thursday's closing price.

"I don't think the price has ever been higher. It's certainly super spike territory," said a gas trader at a utility. "The worrying thing is it can probably go higher."