Qatar’s diplomatic showdown with its Arab neighbours has highlighted the risks associated with growing UK dependence on imported gas – and intensified calls from fracking supporters for Britain’s shale resources to be developed. Almost 30 per cent of UK gas imports come from the small Gulf state of Qatar, which is facing disruption to trade and transportation after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and others severed diplomatic relations. The dispute – centred on Qatar’s alleged support for extremist groups – is not seen as an immediate threat to UK gas supplies as Britain heads into the summer months, when energy demand is lowest. However, analysts say instability in the Middle East adds to factors which, taken together, raise long -term questions over UK energy security. For decades, Britain has been amply supplied with gas from its own North Sea resources, topped up by pipelines from Norway and the rest of Europe. However, the gradual decline of North Sea supplies promises to make Britain increasingly dependent on liquefied natural gas (LNG) imported by ship from places such as Qatar, the world’s biggest exporter of the super-cooled liquid gas.
FT 12th June 2017 read more »
The Qatari crisis has already cost the UK two major gas deliveries for this month, causing market prices to surge and raising concern that further price shocks could follow. UK gas traders were caught off guard late last week after a pair of Qatari cargoes destined for the UK market abruptly veered off course in the days following a major travel ban on the UK’s biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplier by neighbouring Gulf states. The deliveries were destined for the UK market before the end of the month, but both were re-routed after Saudi Arabia and its allies severed diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed severe travel restrictions of the emir. The market price for gas delivered next month shot up by almost 4.5pc in a shock price surge at the end of Thursday. The price quickly climbed to 37.675 pence a therm from aroun d 35p the day before and held onto most of its gains ahead of the weekend.
Telegraph 11th June 2017 read more »