Exports of natural gas from the UK to Europe have climbed to six-year highs, as the continent scrambles to boost supplies and reduce its reliance on Kremlin-backed oil and gas.
Flows of natural gas through the UK’s interconnector pipeline to Belgium were at their highest levels since at least 2016 on Sunday and Monday. according to Elexon.
The trading body shared the data with The Telegraph, exposing record gas exports from UK to the European Union (EU).
The developments reflect the UK’s vast LNG import facilities and and robust demand in the EU to source alternatives to Russian gas.
Nathan Piper, head of oil and gas research at Investec, told City A.M. the developments reflect the UK’s diverse array of energy sources and its comparative lack of storage.
He said: “Record gas exports from UK to EU reflect the significant LNG import facilities in the UK and the demand in EU to source alternatives to Russian gas. The UK lack of storage really reflect a weakness in security of supply but with import routes from Norway, LNG and North Sea production overall the UK is in a better position than many European countries.”
The EU has managed to top up supplies to over 90 per cent of capacity ahead of winter.
Nevertheless, UK gas exports to Europe are unusual in December as domestic heating demand soars, meaning supplies are typically kept domestically for as long as possible.
This could put more pressure on the UK with cold weather finally arriving in recent weeks, with National Grid only pulling out of the first phase of emergency measures last week when it secured more supplies from a gas power plant.
The industry body has also placed the possibility of rolling blackouts as a worst-case scenario this winter in the event of a supply crunch.