Where there is concrete, serious and reliable information that an event or events may occur which are likely to result in significant deterioration of the supply situation, BLACK Alert Status will be declared.
This is the period in which events may begin to affect oil and gas supplies, and a formal emergency response is required by both DECC and industry. A high state of preparedness is required and certain preparations may need to be taken depending upon the likely impact.
The UJRT will be activated, if this has not already taken place. The rest of the ERT will be mobilised as appropriate.
UJRT may request Situation Reports (SITREPS) (ANNEX B) be submitted by terminals to the relevant Terminal Group Leader (TGL), and for TGLs to send Aggregate SITREPS (or AGGREPs) (ANNEX C) to UJRT and NG. Upon UJRT activation of UICG, Terminal Group Leaders (TGLs) establish telephone and email communication with the UICG Representatives in their Terminal Group. TGLs will be the conduit for all subsequent communications between JRT and UICG.
As a result, formal communications between industry and the UJRT related to the incident or events will commence to determine whether upstream oil and gas production is threatened, and whether this is likely to result in a significant gas supply shortfall. Information will be sought from industry on maximum gas availability
The NEC is notified of any situation where there is the potential for a gas supply emergency to develop and will request an emergency strategy to be prepared by National Grid.
The CCS will be informed of the situation and any developments, and possibly other government departments depending upon the scale of the problem. Ministerial briefing may also commence.
The declaration of BLACK Alert Status by DECC Upstream is the key step in any response to any threatened upstream gas supply disruption. It is the cooperation between industry facilitated by BLACK Alert Status that provides the information used by DECC Upstream and National Grid to determine whether or not there is a Potential, Imminent or actual Gas Deficit Emergency.