Most notably, before any declaration of emergency, information gathering from terminals and upstream producers facilitated by a DECC Upstream declaration of BLACK Alert Status will be critical in determining whether or not there is in fact a Potential Gas Deficit Emergency, and therefore whether or not a Network Emergency Coordinator is to be stood up and a Stage 1 Emergency declared.
Also, at NEC Emergency Stage 2 and Stage 3 and REDAlert Status, the most significant actions will be undertaken by downstream industry and National Grid and the DJRT. The UJRT will continue to facilitate the exchange of information and implementation of actions required by the NEC.
Finally, although the potential for a Gas Deficit Emergency should be receding during NEC Emergency Stage 4, the exchange of information among upstream industry through the UGIC and TGLs may still be necessary for DECC and National Grid to monitor the progress of gas supply restoration. The existence of a BLACK Alert Status called by DECC Upstream is the key facilitator for this exchange of information. Therefore BLACK Alert Status may remain for some time after the crisis situation deescalates.
Progress through the alert warning system will depend upon which type of crisis is experienced. In the case of a “Slow Burn” crisis, there will be sufficient time to escalate sequentially through each alert status. In the event of a “Sudden Impact” crisis, however, it may be necessary to proceed immediately to a high alert status and sufficient time may not be available to fully implement all the early-status protocols. This is a decision which can only be made at the time, based on the type of crisis and the speed at which it is unfolding.
There are two types of crisis which may develop:
A “Sudden Impact” crisis which happens instantly or develops within a few hours and immediately impacts both upstream oil and gas production and downstream gas supplies, for example a fire at an onshore terminal.
A “Slow Burn” crisis, which gradually develops over a period of several days or even weeks. It does not have an immediate impact but over a relatively short period of time could seriously disrupt oil and gas production, and gas and electricity supplies, such as fuel protests or civil action.
Events could be initiated either upstream, such as an offshore supply problem; or downstream, such as loss of a key onshore gas transmission site.
The JRT will inform the Upstream Industry Coordination Group of the alert status, both initially and when escalating or decreasing